Oil and gas: onshore exploration and production
This guidance was withdrawn on
The Oil & Gas Authority launched a new website on 3 October 2016 to reflect its new status as a government company.
This formalises the transfer of the Secretary of State’s regulatory powers in respect of oil and gas to the OGA, and grants it new powers. This website will no longer be updated. Visitors should refer to www.ogauthority.co.uk
Publications, guidance and data including mapping, seismic activity, wells, and licensing and regulation for onshore oil and gas.
On 1st April 2015 certain functions passed from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) a newly created Executive Agency of DECC
Information, publications, guidance and data relating to onshore exploration and production, including mapping, seismic activity, wells, and licensing and regulation.
Policy information on hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and shale gas can be found on the Developing Shale Gas and Oil in the UK page
14th Landward Licensing Round
On 17 December 2015, the Oil & Gas Authority (OGA) announced that licences for a total of 159 blocks were formally offered to successful applicants under the 14th Onshore Oil and Gas Licensing Round. .
- BGS Midland Valley of Scotland Shale reports
- Shapefiles and geodatabase for Midland Valley of Scotland Shale areas
- BGS Weald Basin Jurassic Shale reports
- Shapefiles and geodatabase for Weald Basin Jurassic Shale areas
- BGS Bowland Shale Gas Study reports
- Shapefiles and geodatabase for the Mature Bowland Shale areas
- The hydrocarbon prospectivity of Britain’s onshore basins
- The unconventional hydrocarbon resources of Britain’s onshore basins – coalbed methane (CBM)
- The unconventional hydrocarbon resources of Britain’s onshore basins – shale gas
- Report: The Economic Impact on UK Energy Policy of Shale Gas and Oil
Interim report on BGS Bowland Shale Resource Evaluation 13 Dec 2012 (MS Word Document, 7.34MB)
RockEval data used in BGS Interim report (MS Excel Spreadsheet, 108KB)
Slides presented at PROSPEX Fair 13 Dec 2012 (PDF, 5.75MB, 28 pages)
House of Commons DECC Select Committee on Shale Gas Report - volume 1 (PDF, 1.52MB, 180 pages)
House of Commons DECC Select Committee on Shale Gas Report - volume 2 (PDF, 1.1MB, 43 pages)
Shale Gas: Government Response to the Committee's Fifth Report of Session 2012 (PDF, 1.22MB, 15 pages)
Unconventional gas post note (PDF, 407KB, 4 pages)
Seismic and wells
PON 14b Notification of intention to carry out onshore (landward) geophysical surveys (MS Word Document, 37.5KB)
- The OGA’s policy on data release
- UK Onshore Geophysical Library (UKOGL) – release agent for onshore seismic data
Basic onshore well data - (updated 13/06/2016) (MS Excel Spreadsheet, 252KB)
Release agents for onshore well data (PDF, 299KB, 1 page)
- PON 9b: Record and sample requirements for onshore geophysical surveys and wells
- Guidance notes for onshore oil and gas field development (PDF, 581KB, 12 pages)
- Licensing information
- Relinquishment Reports received by DECC for previous licences can be downloaded from the historical section of the UKOGL website
Status of licences with licence event date of 30 June 2016 (MS Excel Spreadsheet, 14KB)
- Onshore licence data
- petroleum operations notices
- onshore operatorship requirements
- Regulatory Roadmap to help operators understand the regulation process for onshore oil and gas (shale gas) exploration in the UK
- planning regime for England
- planning regime for Scotland
- planning regime for Wales
Oil and gas well discoveries since 1982
- Onshore discoveries since 1982 (MS Excel Spreadsheet, 13.2KB)
Extended well tests and Hydraulic Fracture Plan
EWT and HFP guidance (PDF, 257KB, 3 pages)
Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Process (PDF, 753KB, 1 page)
Resumption of shale gas exploration
Hydraulic fracturing operations for shale gas in the UK have been suspended since May 2011, pending the investigation of two seismic tremors experienced near Preese Hall, Lancashire during fracking operations.
In the light of the recommendations of a panel of independent experts, of comments received in response to a public consultation, and of the recommendations of an authoritative review of the scientific and engineering evidence on shale gas extraction made by the UK’s science and engineering academies, the Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Secretary of State for Energy has announced the introduction of new regulatory requirements to ensure that seismic risks are effectively mitigated.
Read the Secretary of State’s statement to Parliament . Subject to these new requirements, DECC is prepared in principle to consider new applications for consent to such operations, and the suspension is therefore lifted. As before, final consent to any well or well operations is dependent on confirmation that all other necessary permits and consents have been obtained. A wide range of other issues were raised in the responses to the public consultation, and DECC together with other relevant bodies has prepared a full Q&A brief on these issues, which can be found below.
The full Government response to the recommendations made on the scientific and engineering evidence by the Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering can be found below:
- The Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering - Shale gas extraction in the UK: a review of hydraulic fracturing
- Synopsis of main questions raised in responses to DECC consultation on mitigation of seismic risks from hydraulic fracturing for shale gas (PDF, 432KB, 27 pages)
- Environment Agency’ guidance note on exploratory shale gas operations
- Scottish Environment Protection Agency Regulatory Guidance on Coal Bed Methane and Shale Gas
- HSE Website
On 1 April and 27 May 2011 two earthquakes with magnitudes 2.3 and 1.5 were felt in the Blackpool area. These earthquakes were suspected to be linked to hydraulic fracture treatments at the Preese Hall well operated by Cuadrilla Resources Ltd. The hydraulic fracture treatments were carried out during exploration of a shale gas reservoir in the Bowland basin. As a result of the earthquakes, operations were suspended at Preese Hall and Cuadrilla Resources Ltd were requested to undertake a full technical study into the relationship between the earthquakes and their operations.
Cuadrilla submitted to DECC a synthesis report with a number of technical appendices on 2 November 2011, and published this material on their website. These reports examine seismological and geomechanical aspects of the seismicity in relation to the hydraulic fracture treatments, along with detailed background material on the regional geology and rock physics. They also estimated future seismic hazard and proposed recommendations for future operations to mitigate seismic risk.
To assist DECC in evaluating these studies and recommendations, DECC asked three leading experts in the fields of seismology, induced seismicity and hydraulic fracturing to make an independent assessment of the Cuadrilla-funded studies; Dr Brian Baptie, BGS; Professor Peter Styles, Keele University and Dr Christopher A. Green, GFRAC.
- Biographies (PDF, 33.9KB, 1 page)
Further information supplied by Cuadrilla in the course of this assessment is available as Annexes below. The independent experts have now made recommendations to DECC for mitigating the risk of induced seismicity resulting from continued hydraulic fracturing at Preese Hall, Lancashire and elsewhere in Great Britain.
- Preese Hall Shale gas fracturing review & recommendations for induced seismic mitigation (PDF, 990KB, 26 pages)
See UK Onshore Operators Group’s
- UK Onshore Shale Gas Well Guidelines (PDF, 674KB, 37 pages)
for description of the Hydraulic Fracturing Programme (HFP), the detailed risk assessment now required as part of the OGA frac consent that also describes the control and mitigation measures for fracture containment and for any potential induced seismicity.
Background material for general public
Non-specialist readers may find the following material helpful:
- Office of Unconventional Gas and Oil
- About shale gas and hydraulic fracturing (fracking)
What is shale gas? (PDF, 41.6KB, 4 pages)
Background note on shale gas and hydraulic fracturing (PDF, 1.17MB, 7 pages)
- information on Earthquakes
- Earthquake frequently asked questions
- Guide to the different ways in which rocks are fractured in Oil and Gas field operations (John Pucknell, University of Portsmouth)
Cuadrilla’s proposed plan for resumption of hydraulic fracturing operations (PDF, 175KB, 6 pages)
Qcon proposed Earthquake Monitoring System (PDF, 150KB, 4 pages)
Cuadrilla recommended treatment design including information about the Mongoose Frac System (PDF, 735KB, 14 pages)
Barree and Associates simulation for the stage 2 frac treatment that was pumped at Preese Hall (PDF, 1.04MB, 15 pages)
Seismic evaluation of recorded earthquake data (PDF, 1.91MB, 45 pages)
Onshore environmental regulations
Legislation, further information and guidance on environmental regulation that affects onshore operators.
Environmental legislation applicable to the onshore hydrocarbon industry (MS Word Document, 76KB)
- visit the National Archives for guidance on the Pipelines Act 1962
- Guidance on the publication of main commercial conditions for use of onshore gas processing facilities and relevant gas pipelines (MS Word Document, 132KB)
Please direct all enquries to:
Telephone: 0300 068 6037
Published: 22 January 2013
Updated: 30 June 2016
- Status of licences with licence event date of 30 June 2016 - (added)
- Oil & Gas: Updated Basic onshore well data.
- Oil and Gas Authority: Updated Extended well tests and Hydraulic Fracture Plan
- Oil and Gas: Updated document for Basic onshore well data
- Basic onshore well data - (updated)
- Onshore well data - (updated)
- Oil and gas: Basic onshore well data - (updated)
- Oil and Gas: Onshore well data - (updated)
- Oil and Gas: Update of basic onshore well data spreadsheet
- Oil and gas: Guidance notes for onshore oil and gas field development - (updated)
- Oil and gas: Onshore well data - (updated)
- Oil and Gas: Update of basic onshore well data as of 08/09/2014
- Updated 'Basic onshore well data'
- OIl and gas: BGS Midland Valley of Scotland Shale reports - (added)
- Oil and gas: Onshore - BGS Weald Basin Jurassic Shale reports - (added)
- Oil and gas: Onshore well data - (updated0
- Oil and gas: Onshore well data - (updated)
- Basic onshore well data - updated
- PON 9b updated
- basic onshore well data - updated
- Link to BGS Bowland Shale Gas report
- First published.