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Economic Aspects of Different Instruments for Procuring Financial Security Relating to Decommissioning Liabilities in the UKCS including Residual liability - National Decommissioning Centre

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  • Full or part time
    Prof A Kemp
    Dr M Gronwald
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

The PhD project consists of two parts. The first would assess the economic effects of different instruments which can be used to procure financial security for decommissioning such as LOCs, Surety Bonds, trust Funds, and Parent Company Guarantees. The economic effects would include timing of COP and thus MER, tax revenues, and risk-sharing among Government and JV partners. Professor Kemp has published several papers on these subjects including “Financial Liability for Decommissioning in the UKCS: The Comparative Effects of LOCs, Surety Bonds, and Trust Funds”, North Sea Study Occasional Paper, No.103 (

The second part of the project would explore possible mechanisms to deal with the current problem of residual liability in perpetuity which currently rests with licensees after an agreed decommissioning plan has been executed. The thrust of the research would be to discover a mechanism which relieves the licensees of the in perpetuity liability while leaving the Government content that it is not disadvantaged.

The successful student will benefit from being part of a new and exciting decommissioning research centre working in Newburgh, Aberdeenshire, along with other PhD students, industry and academics among others. NDC includes state-of-the-art engineering laboratories and hangar space for the design and development of decommissioning technology, as well as a suite of environmental commercial testing facilities. At the heart of the Centre is the Decommissioning Immersive Collaborative Environment (DICE), a high-tech digital visualisation suite.

This studentship forms part of the National Decommissioning Centre, Centre for Doctoral Training. All of the NDC CDT projects will have substantive industry/regulator/NGO links/support. This support is currently being discussed with appropriate companies and organisations.

The successful candidate should have, or expect to obtain a UK Honours Degree at 2.1 or above (or equivalent) in Economics (or related), postgraduate degree in Economics (or related)

Essential background and Knowledge: quantitative economic modelling and decision analysis plus knowledge of petroleum economics, investment appraisal techniques and UK corporate tax system.

Students will have the opportunity to study elements of the MSc in Decommissioning see to gain a broader understanding and knowledge.


• Apply for Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Decommissioning
• State name of the lead supervisor as the Name of Proposed Supervisor
• State ‘National Decommissioning Centre’ as Intended Source of Funding
• State the exact project title on the application form

Informal inquiries can be made to Prof A Kemp ([Email Address Removed]) with a copy of your curriculum vitae and cover letter. All general enquiries should be directed to the Postgraduate Research School ([Email Address Removed])

The start date of the project is 1 October 2019.

Funding Notes

Home Tuition Fees and stipend at Research Council rates for 3.5 years.

International candidates can apply if they can meet the difference between UK/EU and International Tuition fees from their own resources. If you have recently been in receipt of sponsorship, please check their conditions about further study before applying as they may have limitations.


“Financial Liability for Decommissioning in the UKCS: The Comparative Effects of LOCs, Surety Bonds, and Trust Funds”, North Sea Study Occasional Paper, No.103 (

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