An Area Plan is a cross licence/ cross Hub collaborative framework to ensure economic recovery of oil and gas, whilst supporting the drive to net zero carbon by 2050, in a particular geographical area of the UKCS, based on the analysis of evidence.
The NSTA is working closely with operators, licence holders and other interested parties to develop Area Plans across the oil and gas life cycle. These integrate exploration, development, production, and decommissioning to ensure operations ensure economic recovery with the optimum use of infrastructure to extend asset life.
Area Plans, like industry, are evolving, with scopes of work now incorporating energy integration and net zero considerations; all in support of industry meeting the UK Government’s target of net zero by 2050.
Area Plans represent a shared view amongst industry participants of the optimal way to ensure economic recovery, whilst supporting the drive to net zero carbon by 2050, in a specific set of circumstances. For the majority of Area Plans, the NSTA will normally expect industry to lead on developing and delivering the plans.
The NSTA have developed Guidance (revised in November 2023) to aid the industry’s understanding of their responsibilities for developing Area Plans and help improve collaboration across the UKCS. As experience and practice develop, the NSTA will update and review this guidance.
Under the leadership of Steve Phimister, Industry Cultural Change Champion, industry have created Behavioural Guidelines to help those involved in Area Plans. These Guidelines provide advice, share insights from existing Area Plans groups and signpost to relevant tools and resources.