On 5 February, DECC published its response to its consultation on its draft strategy for maximising economic recovery of the UK’s remaining offshore oil and gas (the Strategy)1 together with a final version of the Strategy. On 18 March the final version was brought into force.
The Strategy is a fundamental component of the UK’s new oil and gas regulatory regime in the UK, which will be put in place when the Energy Bill is finally enacted later this year. It will be legally binding on the industry’s new regulator, the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA), offshore licence holders and operators, and developers, owners and operators of upstream oil and gas infrastructure (relevant persons). The OGA has a suite of enforcement powers to ensure compliance with the Strategy. It is therefore vital for the industry that their obligations under Strategy are clear and that the manner in which they will be enforced is predictable, not least because investor confidence could be severely damaged if this is not the case.
This note outlines the main elements of the Strategy and then comments on the importance of the OGA developing clear policies on its approach to the enforcement of the Strategy.