Policy paper

Environmental permitting of onshore oil and/or gas facilities

This regulatory position statement enables onshore oil and gas sites to operate whilst permit variations and/or new applications are determined.


Environmental permitting of existing onshore oil and/or gas facilities: Regulatory Position Statement

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Since 1 October 2013 the Environment Agency have taken the view that operators of new onshore oil and/or gas exploration or appraisal facilities require environmental permits where activities include:

  • the management of extractive waste, whether or not this involves a waste facility (as a mining waste operation)
  • flaring of waste gas using a flare which has the capacity to incinerate over 10 tonnes a day (as an installation)
  • a water discharge activity
  • a groundwater activity, such as an indirect discharge of pollutants as part of high pressure high volume hydraulic fracturing
  • waste being managed that meets the thresholds for radioactivity set out in the 2010 Regulations (as a radioactive substances activity)

We now consider that the same environmental permits should be required for existing onshore oil and/or gas facilities, in addition to the permit required for crude oil unloading, handling or storage, or treatment.

Published 1 April 2015
Last updated 22 May 2017 + show all updates
  1. Updated RPS 392: Environmental permitting of existing onshore oil and/or gas facilities.
  2. Minor changes to the Regulatory Position Statement to reflect the changes to the onshore oil and gas re-permitting project timeline
  3. First published.