Towards Sustainable Decommissioning and Closure of Oil Fields and Mines : A Toolkit to Assist Government Agencies

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Globally, an increasing number of mines and hydrocarbon fields are nearing depletion, following decades of resource exploitation. These operations and the associated infrastructure will require complex and costly dismantling; technical and environmental restoration and rehabilitation measures; and socioeconomic investments to counteract retrenchment, post-closure economic downturns and other effects associated with the end of the project's productive life. The intent of this Toolkit is to serve as a resource to support the development of flexible but systematic regulatory approaches to key components of a sustainable decommissioning and closure planning and implementation process. This Toolkit is organized around what are believed to be core components of a practical approach that governments may adopt or adapt in the process of identifying and managing decommissioning and closure needs. The Toolkit structure is organized as: introduction and overview sets the stage on the purpose and objectives of the Toolkit, intended audience or users, key components and toolkit structure, guideline sources and definitions. General Toolkit guidance document is designed to provide an overview of sector specific trends and challenges related to decommissioning and closure. This is based on experts' opinions on which issues are higher priority and may warrant additional attention on the part of governments. Tool policy and regulatory framework aims to delineate the steps for an enhanced policy and regulatory framework, and provide a platform for the implementation of the remaining tools. Tool two environmental and social best practice and management systems describes how governments can contribute to the implementation of socio-environmental best practices leading to more sustainable decommissioning and closure, and incorporates guidance on the development of a conceptual closure plan. Tool three financial assurance mechanisms provides a roadmap for establishing (or enhancing) sufficient and reliable financial assurance for the extractives sectors, and provides alternatives and templates for further guidance. Tool four enforcements and monitoring emphasize the importance for governments of monitoring compliance with regulations and requirements during the planning and implementation of decommissioning and closure activities. Tool five stakeholder engagement and continuous improvement encourages governments and related agencies to use stakeholder engagement to better understand key community priorities and to contribute as partners in sustainable decommissioning and closure planning, while at the same time fine-tuning government's role in this process.
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World Bank. 2010. Towards Sustainable Decommissioning and Closure of Oil Fields and Mines : A Toolkit to Assist Government Agencies. © Washington, DC. License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.
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