The Annual Consents Exercise has got off to an excellent start with operators having already submitted around 95% of applications for 2024 onshore and offshore oil and gas production consents.

The second stage – applications for flaring and venting consents – is also progressing well, with all submissions expected to be in by 29 September 2023.  The North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) will appropriately consider and process each application, and we appreciate industry submitting the bulk of applications in line with the published timelines.

The NSTA is committed to supporting industry in producing oil and gas to ensure UK security of supply and, at the same time, helping operators reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The Annual Consents Exercise plays a vital role in that – providing operators with the opportunity to apply for the production and flaring and venting consents necessary for them to carry on producing for the year, and for the NSTA to study those applications to ensure they are not excessive.

Emissions have been driven down year on year and industry has committed to reducing overall emissions by 50% by 2030 alongside a complete ban on routine flaring and venting in the same year. Good progress has already been made with a 23% drop in greenhouse gas emissions between 2018 and 2022 and flaring down by 50% in the same period.

This year’s Annual Consents Exercise opened on 20 July 2023. All outstanding applications should be submitted by 29 September 2023.

Consents for both flaring and venting are usually for one year (starting 1 January), but in some cases production consents can be granted for longer periods.

The NSTA expects approximately 330 applications to be made covering around 125 assets. The applications will be processed with consents valid from 1 January 2024.