Energy Country Review: Complimentary 7-day trial

  • News-alert sign up
  • Contact us

Oil & Gas Authority (OGA)

OGA are responsible for regulating offshore and onshore oil and gas operations in the UK. This includes:
  • oil and gas licensing
  • oil and gas exploration and production
  • oil and gas fields and wells
  • oil and gas infrastructure
  • carbon capture and storage (CCS) licensing

The Oil & Gas Authority (OGA) was created in response to one of the key recommendations of the 2014 Wood Review of the UKCS. The OGA became an Executive Agency in April 2015 and vested as Government Company in October 2016, resulting in both operational independence from DECC (now the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) and direct accountability for exploration and development decisions and approvals. The OGA’s role is to regulate, influence and promote the UK oil and gas industry in order to maximise the economic recovery of the UK’s oil and gas resources (MER UK). 

What are the key drivers to unlock regional exploration in the UKCS? 

The OGA has been promoting and supporting regional exploration through a number of different initiatives, the majority of which are underpinned by providing either new data or improved access to existing legacy data to both industry and academic communities. The release of new 2D broadband seismic data, for example, resulted in a number of exploration licenses in some of the more frontier areas of the UKCS such as the Rockall Trough. Several of the 2015 and 2016 OGA 2D seismic surveys have also been the subject of recent academic research, the results of which are being openly shared with industry with a view to providing new insights into previously neglected or underexplored parts of the UKCS. In addition to the drive to improve data access, the OGA has also been working in collaboration with industry groups on several regional projects, focused on gaining a better understanding of the key exploration uncertainties of the more underexplored plays and regions of the UKCS. 

Can the UKCS exploration compete with global basins?

The UK has a lot to offer companies looking to either enter the UK or continue to invest here. The UK has an established oil and gas infrastructure, a capable workforce and supply chain and an attractive fiscal regime. In addition, through the progressive work of the OGA, the organization are improving data access (especially with planned new UK’s first Oil and Gas National Data Repository), and perhaps most importantly can offer a range of exploration opportunities from low-risk, near-field prospects to high-impact exploration in emerging basins such as the West of Shetlands and other frontier basins across the UKCS.