Policy paper

Government response to Sir Ian Wood's Review of the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS)

This publication was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Government response to an independently led review of UK offshore oil and gas recovery and its regulation.


In June 2013 the Secretary of State, Ed Davey, tasked Sir Ian to conduct an independently led review of UK offshore oil and gas recovery and its regulation to maximise the recovery of the UK’s indigenous oil and gas supplies and help maintain security of supply, in the context of a low-carbon future.

Sir Ian reported his findings earlier this year. The Review estimated that full and rapid implementation could deliver 3-4 billion barrels of oil equivalent more than would otherwise be recovered over the next 20 years, worth over £200billion.

The government response sets out a commitment to fully implement the Review’s recommendations, namely:

  • Government and Industry should develop and commit to a new strategy for maximising economic recovery from the UK Continental Shelf (MER UK);
  • That stewardship of the UKCS should move to a new arm’s length body that is better resourced, and funded by industry;
  • That additional powers should be secured for the body to implement MER UK; and
  • The new body should work with industry to develop and implement new industry strategies, such as on exploration and decommissioning cost reduction.