To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure that future maintenance liabilities for abandoned or exhausted shale gas wells remain the responsibility of the operator of that well.
5 July 2017
Each licensee (and there may be more than one for each licence) is responsible for the well. When operations finish, the licensees are responsible for safe decommissioning of the well(s) and for restoring the well-site to its previous state or a suitable condition for re-use.
The central aim of the regulatory framework is to ensure wells are made safe so that they can be decommissioned with no need for on-going attention. The Health and Safety Executive scrutinises the plans for the well at the outset, including the plans for decommissioning and the operator reports to them during the decommissioning process.