National Decommissioning Research Initiative (NDRI)

NERA is leading the development of the National Decommissioning Research Initiative (NDRI) to improve community, regulatory and industry understanding of the impact of infrastructure on the marine environment.

Australia’s decommissioning liability is estimated to be in the order of AU$30 billion over the next 50 years. This includes 36 fixed platforms, 3,484 kilometres of pipeline and 900 wells.

The NDRI has been formed to commission and publish independent scientific research to improve the understanding of the importance these infrastructures in the Australian offshore marine environment, and how these structures react to and influence the marine environment over time.

NERA is facilitating development and delivery of the NDRI on behalf of eight industry partners. It will ultimately provide an independent evidence base to inform decommissioning decisions, comparative assessments and environmental impact assessments.


Initial objectives for the NDRI are to improve understanding of:

  • Potential impact from decommissioning O&G structures on life in the marine environment; and
  • Potential contaminants released in the marine environment if structures remain in-situ.

Many of the projects in the first phase of research will seek to lay the foundation for larger and longer research studies.


  • The first long term industry-wide oil and gas decommissioning research collaboration in Australia
  • Oversight by an Independent Scientific Advisory Board comprised of top scientific experts in marine ecology and material degradation.
  • Provides an independent scientific evidence-base to better understand the impact over time of oil and gas infrastructure in Australia's offshore marine environment.
  • Informs regulatory and industry assessments of the potential impact of various decommissioning options on the marine environment.

Project Partners

  • Shell Australia Pty Ltd
  • Esso Australia Pty Ltd
  • Chevron Australia Pty Ltd
  • BHP Petroleum Pty Ltd
  • Woodside Energy Ltd
  • Santos Limited
  • Vermilion Oil and Gas Australia Ltd


    Project Timeframe

    Start: July 2019

    End: July 2022


    Project funding

    Total Project Cost: $3,407,000

    NERA: $257,000

    Industry: $3,150,000

    *Funding excludes GST