UK Oil and Gas Authority to Become Independent Regulator
From 1 October 2016 the UK Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGA) will be established as an independent regulatory body by the UK Government. With the new powers this grants, the OGA will act with greater speed and flexibility to drive greater collaboration and efficiency to attract investment, support jobs, and to make sure UK oil and gas remains competitive for the future.
During the announcement at the Aberdeen & Grampian Chambers of Commerce, Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark commented:
“As one of the UK’s largest industrial sectors and having one of the most highly skilled workforces in the world, we are determined to continue to work together to secure its long-term success.”
From October the OGA will have access to operators meetings, data acquisitions and retention, dispute resolution powers, and the ability to impose sanctions. The Secretary of State’s existing regulatory powers over of oil and gas will transfer to the OGA.
The Energy Act, which will establish the OGA as an independent regulator, will also enable more compressive charging of the offshore oil and gas industry in relation to environmental regulatory functions carried out by the DECC. This law will also allow local communities to be the primary decision makers for new onshore wind developments by removing the need for the Secretary of State’s consent for large onshore wind farms in England and Wales, as required under the Electricity Act of 1989. This will bring forward the early closure of the Renewables Obligation subsidy scheme for new onshore wind developments in the UK.
The UK’s Energy Bill of July 2015 introduced the OGA as an independent oil and gas regulator, and the regulator received the royal assent in May 2016. The establishment as an independent regulator comes as part of the British Government’s energy goals and commitments to better support the North Sea oil industry.