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HMRC internal manual

Oil Taxation Manual

The DECC role in the UK North Sea: the DECC Energy Development Unit

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), through its Energy Development Unit (EDU), is responsible for licensing exploration and regulating development of the UK’s oil and gas resources. EDU is based in two sites in the UK: London and Aberdeen. The London address is 3 Whitehall Place, London, SW1A 2AW. The responsibilities of the Unit may be summarised as follows:

  • to promote the exploration for oil and gas resources over the maximum extent of the UKCS by means of an appropriate licensing regime which pays due regard to the environment and to the interests of other land and sea users
  • to regulate and promote oil and gas developments which are technically, economically and environmentally sound
  • to continue to improve the understanding of the upstream UK oil and gas industry and its international markets, to promote open competitive markets and strong companies in the UK and to influence EU policy formulation and international discussions
  • to collect, analyse and selectively disseminate data relating to the UK’s hydrocarbons reserves in order to assist planning and decision taking in Government and the industry.

DECC publishes detailed information on the administration of the North Sea and UK oil, and data on oil and gas fields in Great Britain and on the UK continental shelf on its website which can be found at

The regulatory and promotional role of DECC forms an important part of the backcloth to the North Sea fiscal regime. Issues such as the granting of licences and development consents, the determination of the boundaries of oil fields and the approval of decommissioning programmes may all be significant for PRT and RFCT/SC. As a result, LB London Oil and Gas Sector have close links with DECC.