Offshore production licences can be extended beyond their original expiry date if necessary to allow approved fields to finish their production.
The NSTA will not extend a licence until it is clearly necessary, so licensees expecting to need an extension should formally inform the NSTA between six and 12 months before the licence’s expiry date.
The NSTA may request an update to the field development plan to support a request for a licence extension and we may refuse to extend a licence if the licensee’s performance is unsatisfactory.
An extension will be implemented by a licence amendment that removes all acreage from the licence other than the approved field(s) and then which allows the producing acreage that remains to continue while production continues. The extension will continue for as long as the field is in production.
Once extended, the NSTA may terminate the licence if the field goes a year without production. Termination is not automatic and the NSTA will consider requests not to terminate on the grounds that production has only been suspended temporarily. If there’s more than one field on a licence, the termination provisions apply separately to each field.
Contact the NSTA at Offshore.Exploration@nstauthority.co.uk