National Green Tribunal

DECOMMISSIONING OF OIL AND GAS PRODUCTION FIELDS ON HIGH SEAS

The Exploration and Production (E&P) basins usually mature in about 20-30 years. What is left after the prolonged E&P phase are the abandoned installations and wells (onland), sub-sea infrastructure, platforms, and wells (offshore). Once the hydrocarbon resources are exhausted or it becomes unviable to extract them further, the E&P project moves to an abandonment phase, and the project is decommissioned. Decommissioning ensures that the E&P installations and infrastructure are removed subsequent to their abandonment and the site is restored in an environmentally sustainable way.

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The power of judicial review enables the judiciary to determine the constitutional validity of legislative and/or executive actions, possibly making them subject to invalidation.

The power of judicial review by Tribunals was examined and decided by the Supreme Court in S.P. Sampath Kumar v. Union of India and in the subsequent case of L. Chandra Kumar v. Union of India. After the decision in Sampath Kumar case divergent views were taken by various benches of the Supreme Court. The matter was therefore referred to a seven judge bench of the Supreme Court in L. Chandra Kumar.

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