Annual Consents Exercise

Annual Consents Exercise 

The Annual Consents Exercise (“ACE”) is the process to apply to produce Oil and Gas, and to Flare and Vent Gas in the UKCS and Onshore.  

ACE is primarily an exercise to ensure that Production, Flaring and Venting applications are submitted for the following year. We do understand however that Operators will take this as an opportunity to review current operations versus consent and forecast forward the remainder of their current consents. Operators are reminded that should they identify the requirement for a revision to their current consent that they apply for this in a timely manner for the NSTA’s consideration. 


Applications should be submitted to the NSTA via the UK Energy Portal system with the exception of “Terminal Consents” which are to be submitted by email (  

We encourage Operators to have a minimum of two working contacts on the UK Energy Portal who can action applications should they be returned. Should you require an account to be set up, you should follow the “Register for a portal account” link on the log in page. For more detailed guidance on setting up specific access for applications and consents, please refer to the “Field Consents System User Guidance”. 

Applications for the continuation of Production, Flaring and Venting in 2022 are to be submitted using the new application template, they cannot be processed as revisions to existing consents. 

If your application is returned to you for withdrawal and you are requested to submit on a new application template, a further cost will be incurred. 


Key Date  Action 
31 August 2021   Submission of New Production Consent Applications for those that expire at the end of December 2021 by 31 August 2021. 
15 October 2021   Submission of New Flare and Vent Consent Applications for those that expire at the end of December 2021, including Terminals, by 15 October 2021. 

If you are unable to meet any of the above deadlines, please email for the attention of the NSTA Consents & Authorisations Manager with the background, ensuring this action is taken before the deadline, requesting guidance on next steps. 

If an Operator is currently in the process of transferring Operatorship of a field during the period of the Annual Consents Exercise, the schedule above still applies to your applications. 

Please note that the Field Consent applies to the field and remains valid once Operatorship has been transferred. If the new Operator wishes to have a Consent in their name, they should apply after this transfer has been completed and they will incur a fee. 

BEIS OPRED EMT Requirements – Application for Offshore Fields Only 

If your Development and Production Consent application requests an increase on the current consented level of production, there is a requirement to obtain separate environmental approval from OPRED, as detailed below: 

If the proposed increase in production is less than 500 tonnes of oil per day or 500,000 cubic metres of gas per day, measured against the baseline of your current consented level, you must apply for an Environmental Impact Assessment (“EIA”) Direction confirming that an Environmental Statement (“ES”) is not required; or 

If the proposed increase in production is greater than 500 tonnes of oil per day or 500,000 cubic metres of gas per day, measured against the baseline of your current consented level, you must submit a written letter of application to the NSTA (copied to OPRED) confirming the current and requested level(s) of production and submit an ES to OPRED to support the letter of application. This will have significant timing implications as the ES will be subject to a mandatory 30-day Public Notice period and review by statutory consultees. 

For all proposed increases in production, consent cannot be issued by the NSTA until the requisite environmental approvals are in place.  You must therefore take this forward with OPRED as soon as possible, and should contact the Environmental Management Team (EMT) at Further guidance in relation to the OPRED application processes and regulatory requirements, including specific guidance relating to the revision and renewal of production consents, can be found at: 

It is the responsibility of the operator to ensure that the relevant environmental submissions are made in sufficient time. 

The Offshore Oil and Gas Exploration, Production, Unloading and Storage (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2020 ( came into force on 31 December 2020.  BEIS (OPRED) guidance (BEIS Document Template - Legal Style Numbering ( has also been published. 

OPRED is encouraging developers to engage in discussion at the earliest opportunity to determine whether a proposed activity falls under Schedule 1, 2 or 3 of the Regulations.  You should also note, that the NSTA cannot issue a consent for a project without the agreement of the Secretary of State.  It would be helpful therefore if you would advise us in the additional information section of your Portal application (for Terminals, via the Consents email box) of the outcome of any discussions concerning your application.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Each year, NSTA receive a series of frequently asked questions and as such a document has been created to provide responses to these. Please ensure you have checked this document prior to making contact with NSTA.

NSTA Frequently Asked Questions

Webinar Sessions 

Here is a link to the ACE 2022 Overview for Industry which contains key information on changes, deadlines and interdependencies.


Here is a link to a video on how to complete a Vent consent application on the UK Energy Portal, here is a link to a video on how to complete a Flare consent application on the UK Energy Portal; and here is a link to a video on how to complete a Production consent application on the UK Energy Portal.

Key Links 

UK Energy Portal Login: 

Field Consents System User Guidance:

Charge Payable for Portal Consents

Production Consents and Field Development Plans Guidance 

BEIS OPRED Guidance relating to revision and renewal of Production Consents: 

Guidance on Applications for Flaring and Venting Consents: 


NSTA Consents & Authorisations:

UK Energy Portal: