National Marine Plan - A Summary of Objectives and Policies

Summary document containing the objectives and policies from the National Marine Plan.

Oil and Gas

Objectives and policies for this sector should be read subject to those set out in the General Policies and Strategic Objectives. It is recognised that not all of the objectives can necessarily be achieved directly through the marine planning system, but they are considered important context for planning and decision making.

1 Economic Social

Maximise the recovery of reserves through a focus on industry-led innovation, enhancing the skills base and supply chain growth.

2 Social Climate Change - Adaptation Marine Ecosystem

An industry which delivers high-level risk management across all its operations and that it is especially vigilant in more testing current and future environments.

3 Economic Marine Ecosystem

Continued technical development of enhanced oil recovery and exploration, and the associated seismic activity carried out according to the principles of the Best Available Technique ( BAT) and Best Environmental Practice approach.

4 Economic Social

Where possible, to work with emerging sectors to transfer the experience, skills and knowledge built up in the oil and gas industry to allow other sectors to benefit and reduce their environmental impact.

Marine planning policies

Economic Social Climate Change - Adaptation Marine Ecosystem OIL & GAS 1: The Scottish Government will work with DECC, the new Oil and Gas Authority and the industry to maximise and prolong oil and gas exploration and production whilst ensuring that the level of environmental risks associated with these activities are regulated. Activity should be carried out using the principles of Best Available Technology ( BAT) and Best Environmental Practice. Consideration will be given to key environmental risks including the impacts of noise, oil and chemical contamination and habitat change.

Economic Social OIL & GAS 2: Where re-use of oil and gas infrastructure is not practicable, either as part of oil and gas activity or by other sectors such as carbon capture and storage, decommissioning must take place in line with standard practice, and as allowed by international obligations. Re-use or removal of decommissioned assets from the seabed will be fully supported where practicable and adhering to relevant regulatory process.

Economic Marine Ecosystem OIL & GAS 3: Supporting marine and coastal infrastructure for oil and gas developments, including for storage, should utilise the minimum space needed for activity and should take into account environmental and socio-economic constraints.

Social OIL & GAS 4: All oil and gas platforms will be subject to 9 nautical mile consultation zones in line with Civil Aviation Authority guidance.

Economic Climate Change - Adaptation OIL & GAS 5: Consenting and licensing authorities should have regard to the potential risks, both now and under future climates, to oil and gas operations in Scottish waters, and be satisfied that installations are appropriately sited and designed to take account of current and future conditions.

Social Marine Ecosystem OIL & GAS 6: Consenting and licensing authorities should be satisfied that adequate risk reduction measures are in place, and that operators should have sufficient emergency response and contingency strategies in place that are compatible with the National Contingency Plan and the Offshore Safety Directive.

Regional policy: Regional marine plans should consider:

  • The positive and negative impacts of any oil and gas activity in their area and the implications for other development and use.
  • The implications of the transition to a low carbon economy for their area including the longer-term reduction of oil and gas activity, but also incorporating opportunities to re-use existing infrastructure and promote skills transfer to support emerging industries such as renewables and CCS. <applies to inshore waters>


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