Strategy document

The OGA has developed the Exploration Strategy in collaboration with industry and the MER UK Board in support of the MER UK Strategy and OGA Corporate Plan.

The OGA is committed to maximising the economic recovery of hydrocarbons from the UKCS through safe and cost effective exploration and appraisal (E&A) activities. These activities must encompass the full range of undiscovered and undeveloped opportunities within the UK, including frontier and mature area potential, in order to deliver value that supports and extends the life of producing hubs as well as new field developments.

This Exploration Strategy supports the MER UK Strategy and has three priority areas:

  • Regional exploration – Promoting exploration opportunities in the UK through both regional and targeted approaches
  • Licence and work programme stewardship – Regulating the optimal use of the UK’s acreage through licensing activities and stewardship
  • Subsurface technical assurance and portfolio management – Influencing the technical work carried out by licensees in order to improve exploration performance and ensure prospective resources are efficiently and fully exploited

The OGA has been set up to regulate, influence and promote the UK oil and gas industry and has been provided with a range of new powers to enable it to do so. The development of a series of strategies represents a key step in setting the strategic direction of how the OGA and industry will work together to maximise economic recovery (MER) from the United Kingdom Continental Shelf (UKCS) and was one of the core recommendations of the Wood Maximising Recovery Review.

The MER UK Strategy underpins our work and came into force in March 2016. It describes how MER should operate in practice, setting out a legally binding central obligation to take the steps necessary to secure the maximum value of economically recoverable hydrocarbons. It also sets out a range of supporting obligations as well as the required actions and behaviours of collaboration and cost reduction.