UK Upstream Regulator Relaxes Rules
The UK upstream regulator Oil & Gas Authority (OGA) has re-prioritised its work in response to the difficulties that the Covid-19 virus has created, it said March 24. It still expects to offer the 32nd Offshore Licensing Round awards in summer 2020 but it will be open to dialogue with applicants at the time of award, it said. It is also taking a pragmatic approach to compliance and said it would "take a flexible approach to considering amendments to licence timelines."
It said it was working very closely with government departments – those responsible for industry, energy and finance – while supporting the work of industry and trade associations such as Oil & Gas UK. OGA's areas of immediate focus include financial and operational resilience; and turnarounds. It said: "We are working with operators and the supply chain to help secure timely payments. We will continue to keep work under review including pausing or postponing other work if required."
It has also reduced stewardship reviews to those required for regulatory or materially significant matters, it said. And while it has not "lost sight of the importance of achieving the UK’s net zero ambitions," it said it would do so in a way that is "both considerate and flexible."
OGA defines effective stewardship as when assets are in the hands of those with the will, behaviours and resources consistently to do the right things to identify and pursue opportunities" that ensure maximum economic recovery of oil and gas from the UK continental shelf.