OPRED have issued revised guidance on projects excluded from an EIA Direction*
An EIA submission is not required to support applications for consent for the construction or augmentation of a pipeline, including deposits of protective or support materials, where the works are located entirely within 500 metres (m) of a well or any part of a fixed installation. This is provided the proposal is unlikely to have a significant effect on the environment.
What has changed?
There is now no requirement to seek e-mail/letter confirmation or to submit an EIA Direction to OPRED to seek confirmation of the exclusion. The OGA will notify OPRED of the request. It should be clearly stated within the PWA that all works are within 500m and that the project is exempt from an EIA Direction. The guidance is now much clearer on excluded projects and therefore operators can confidently conclude if a project is exempt.
Things to consider
OPRED may contact the operator if it requires additional information or if the exclusion cannot be applied as there could be a significant effect on the environment and therefore an EIA Direction will be required.
Xodus can assist operators in determining if there may be a significant effect using our expertise and experience with other operators. By early engagement in the permitting process we can ensure that there are no delays to the project should an EIA Direction be deemed necessary.
*As covered in section 2.2.2 in The Offshore Petroleum Production and Pipelines (Assessment of Environmental Effects) Regulations 1999 (as amended) – A Guide (Revision 4, March 2018).