As reported in our recent press release of 6th April 2010, "Shepherd and Wedderburn Plays Key Role in Securing Procurement Exemption for British Oil and Gas Industry",
British oil and gas companies are now exempt from European procurement laws.
The European Commission granted an exemption on 29 March 2010 under Article 30 of Utilities Directive 2004/17, following an application by Shell U.K. Limited with our assistance. This means that oil and gas companies in England, Scotland and Wales do not need to follow EU procurement requirements for competitive tendering of contracts which are intended to enable exploration and production.
Following this announcement, several of our clients have asked whether the relevant UK procurement regulations will still apply. The answer is that Regulation 9(1)(b)(i) of the Scottish (and English) Utilities Contracts Regulations 2006 automatically disapplies the UK regulations when an Article 30 exemption has been granted by the European Commission. Accordingly, the relevant UK procurement regulations have been disapplied from the upstream GB oil and gas sector with immediate effect.
If you require any further information on this issue, please contact Richard Cockburn or Kevin McGrory.