Oil & Gas—Onshore licensing regime
Oil & Gas—Onshore licensing regime

The following Energy practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Oil & Gas—Onshore licensing regime
  • Regulatory body
  • Legislative background
  • Overarching legislation
  • England
  • Scotland
  • Northern Ireland
  • Wales
  • Isle of Man
  • Types of licence
  • More...

Regulatory body

Historically, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) (on behalf of the Secretary of State (SoS)) were primarily responsible for the regulation of the UK’s oil and gas resources. Following the recommendations of Sir Ian Wood in his review of the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) oil and gas recovery (Wood Review), the Government established a new independent regulator, the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA), to take over DECC’s regulatory and licensing functions in respect of all oil and gas exploration and production in the United Kingdom and UKCS.

On 14 July 2016, it was announced that DECC is to be merged with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to form the newly anointed Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), who continue to be responsible for Health, Safety and Environmental regulation of the UK’s oil and gas resources.

The OGA took over from DECC on 1 April 2016, initially as an executive agency of DECC. However, the Energy Act 2016 formally established the OGA as a fully independent regulator, in the form of an independent Government Company and amended the Petroleum Act 1998 (PA 1998) and associated legislation to formally vest various functions and powers, previously held by the SoS, in the OGA. For more information on the OGA, see Practice Note: Oil & Gas Authority (OGA).

Legislative background

Overarching legislation

PA 1998 provides

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