Pipeline Works Authorisations
Introduction / Context
The new PWA Portal is an online system which allows regulatory users to submit and, where appropriate, obtain consents construct and use pipelines (and any associated deposits) in the UKCS. The new system digitalises an existing manual process and includes provision for payment of the applicable fees to be made online.
The new system has quite complex workflows that also enable relevant bodies, such as the HSE and BEIS, to provide their agreement (or otherwise) to the grant of a consent electronically using the PWA system.
The new system is expected to be launched 14 October 2021 – further announcements will follow, if you have any questions in the meantime please email firstname.lastname@example.org
A Pipeline Works Authorisation or Variation should be in place before any pipeline, pipeline system construction or modification works begins.
The Pipeline Safety Regulations 1996 were introduced by the Health and Safety Executive; as part of a consolidation exercise, the Petroleum Act 1998 repealed and replaced the Petroleum and Submarine Pipelines Act 1975 and the Offshore Petroleum Production and Pipelines (Assessment of Environmental Effects) Regulations 1999 came into effect in 1999. All have had an impact on the offshore Pipeline Works Authorisation (PWA) process.
Before submitting an application, we recommend that, the prospective owner informally consults both the OGA Consents team and the Health and Safety Executive at the earliest possible opportunity, to discuss the proposed scheme and the regulatory requirements.
Where there are no objections, it takes approximately four to six months from receipt of a satisfactory application to issuing the authorisation. In the case of pipelines in respect of which an environmental statement is required under the Offshore Oil and Gas Exploration, Production, Unloading and Storage (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2020, the procedure may take longer. Operators must therefore submit applications at least four to six months before construction begins.
Read more about the PWA application process and charges. It should be noted that in the new PWA Portal there is no feature to store card details against User accounts, as such payment information will need to be provided on each application.
On 14th October 2021 the OGA held a webinar to launch the digitised based Pipelines Work Authorisation system. A video of the webinar can be viewed below: