Press release

Powers over onshore oil & gas licensing regimes transfer to Scottish Parliament

Scottish Ministers have new powers over onshore oil and gas licensing


From today [9 February 2018] Scottish Ministers will have new powers over onshore oil and gas licensing, continuing the drive to make the Scottish Parliament one of the most powerful devolved administrations in the world.

The latest in a raft of powers transferred to Holyrood through the Scotland Act 2016, these include:

  • Powers to legislate for the granting and regulation of licences to search and bore for and get petroleum;
  • Powers to determine the terms and conditions of licences;
  • Powers to regulate the licensing process.

Scottish Secretary David Mundell said:

This is the latest in the transfer of significant new powers to the Scottish Parliament.

The Scotland Act 2016 delivers in full the recommendations of the Smith commission. We promised to make the Scottish Parliament one of the most powerful devolved administrations in the world, and we have delivered on that promise.

People in Scotland now have a greater say than ever before over their own affairs, while retaining the security and safety of being part of a strong United Kingdom.

Since the Scotland Act 2016 received Royal Assent, various powers have been transferred to the Scottish Parliament. These include:

  • Various tax and fiscal powers including the ability to adjust rates and bands of income tax and powers over assignment of VAT revenues
  • Responsibility over certain powers in relation to elections to the Scottish Parliament and local government elections in Scotland
  • Responsibility for managing the Crown Estate assets in Scotland
  • Increased responsibility for welfare policy and delivery in Scotland.

This comes on top of powers which were already devolved:

  • Health
  • Enterprise policy / regional development / Local Government – including business taxation
  • Law
  • Social work and housing
  • Public sector reform
  • Energy and utilities infrastructure
  • The environment
  • Sport and the arts.

The Scottish Government also has a robust financial settlement through the ‘fiscal framework’, plus an additional £2 billion allocated at the Autumn 2017 Budget, which also confirmed the Scottish Government’s block grant will increase in real terms over 2015-2020.

Published 9 February 2018