News story

Date announced for more powerful Oil and Gas Authority

The Secretary of State announces that the Oil and Gas Authority will receive new powers on 1 October

The Oil and Gas Authority will be established as an independent regulator by the UK Government, with new powers that mean it can act with greater speed and flexibility to drive investment, support jobs and further the UK’s competitive edge in the oil and gas industry to ensure the UK remains an attractive destination for investment.

The Secretary of State for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy made the announcement during a visit to Aberdeen where he met with oil and gas industry representatives, visited leading local business ROVOP and chaired a round table with local businesses at Aberdeen & Grampian Chambers of Commerce.

Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark commented:

The oil and gas industry is crucial to our energy security, economy and our cross-government industrial strategy.

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.

Creating the Oil and Gas Authority and giving it powers to drive greater collaboration and efficiency will help attract investment, support jobs and make sure UK oil and gas remains competitive for the future.

It gives the Oil and Gas Authority new powers including: access to operators meetings; data acquisition and retention; dispute resolution; and sanctions. It also enables the transfer of the Secretary of State’s existing regulatory powers in respect of oil and gas to the Oil and Gas Authority.

Andy Samuel, Oil and Gas Authority Chief Executive, said:

We are delighted to welcome Greg Clark for his first visit to Aberdeen today as Secretary of State, just weeks after being appointed.

Over the last year, we have worked closely with our colleagues in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and other government departments to put in place the legislative and regulatory foundations to support Oil and Gas Authority’s transition to an independent government company, including the passing of the Maximising Economic Recovery UK Strategy in March and the Energy Act just two months later.

Government Company status formalises our position as a strong and effective authority with a full suite of regulatory powers to have a positive, transformational effect. Like industry, we are bound by the obligations of the Maximising Economic Recovery UK Strategy, and will continue to deliver on our priorities to drive collaboration, influence and promote the remaining prospectivity of the UK Continental Shelf.

Notes to editors:

  • There are still a number of matters which must be concluded before the Oil and Gas Authority formally becomes a Government Company. Vesting is the phrase we use to describe the process.
  • This process consists of completing a number of final regulations and administrative issues
  • The Government has committed measures worth £2.3bn to ensure the UK Continental Shelf remains an attractive destination for investment.