The Oil and Gas Authority’s (the ‘OGA’) powers, and this guidance, apply to:

(a) the upstream UK offshore petroleum industry; and

(b) given phased devolution of regulation of the upstream industry onshore, currently onshore England and Wales, but from 1 October 2018 exclusively to England.

This guidance sets out when the OGA will consider the financial capability of a legal or natural person ('person') and the factors that the OGA will usually take into consideration when doing so. These factors may vary according to the circumstances and will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. This guidance also sets out the steps that a person seeking a decision from the OGA should take to facilitate those considerations.

This guidance sets out details of the process that the OGA will apply to assess financial capability in respect of certain licence events. It is not a substitute for any other financial assessments that may be carried out by other regulators including onshore, mineral planning authorities, and offshore the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s Offshore Petroleum Regulator for Environment and Decommissioning (‘OPRED’) who may separately seek to satisfy themselves that an Applicant will be able to meet their obligations to decommission offshore installations.

From time to time the OGA may review the financial health of an offshore or onshore licensee or infrastructure owner between licence events and may, in certain circumstances, make further information requirements of that licensee and infrastructure owner unconnected to a specific licence event. In respect of offshore licensees, the OGA will, wherever possible, coordinate these activities with OPRED to minimise the burden on licensees and infrastructure owners.

This guidance has been published following a consultation, which can be viewed here.  The OGA's response to that consulation can be viewed here.