Oil and Gas Authority
The Oil and Gas Authority’s role is to take the steps necessary to: a. secure that the maximum value of economically recoverable petroleum is recovered from the strata beneath relevant UK waters; and, in doing so, b. take appropriate steps to assist the Secretary of State in meeting the net zero target, including by reducing as far as reasonable in the circumstances greenhouse gas emissions from sources such as flaring and venting and power generation, and supporting carbon capture and storage projects. Established in April 2015 as an executive agency of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, on 1 October 2016 the OGA was incorporated as a Government Company, with the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy the sole shareholder. The OGA's headquarters are in Aberdeen with another office in London, which is also its registered company address. As of the 6 March 2019, Tim Eggar is the chair.
In June 2013, the UK government asked Sir Ian Wood of Wood Group to conduct a review into maximising the recovery of oil and gas from the UK Continental Shelf. One of the recommendations of the Wood Review was the creation of an independent economic regulator for the sector. Subsequently the OGA was launched on 1 April 2015 as an executive agency of DECC. The Energy Act 2016 , which received Royal Assent in May 2016, created the legislative framework to formally establish the OGA as a government company, limited by shares under the Companies Act 2006,with the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy the sole shareholder. The Energy Act 2016 also provided the OGA with new regulatory powers, including the ability to participate in meetings with operators, to have access to data, provide dispute resolution and introduce a range of sanctions such as enforcement notices and fines of up to £1 million. On the 6 March 2019, Frances Morris-Jones was replaced by Tim Eggar as the chairman of the authority.
In September 2021 Greenpeace reported that eight of the OGA's 13 board members and senior managers previously worked in the industry, and three held sizeable shareholdings in oil firms. The OGA said their knowledge was vital in helping to regulate the sector.
On 1 November 2019, following a report from the Oil and Gas Authority, the government called a halt to all fracking in the UK "with immediate effect" and warned shale gas companies that it would not support future projects.
- "What We Do". Oil and Gas Authority. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
- "New appointments this week in UK politics, the civil service and public affairs". PoliticsHome. 11 March 2019. Retrieved 14 March 2019.
- "Wood Review". Wood Review. Retrieved 9 August 2015.
- "Environmentalists warn of close ties between oil and gas sector and UK's North Sea regulator". the Guardian. 2021-09-17. Retrieved 2021-09-22.
- "Fracking halted after government pulls support". BBC News. BBC. 2 November 2019. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
- "Fracking banned in UK as government makes major U-turn". The Guardian. The Guardian. 2 November 2019. Retrieved 2 November 2019.