A rising number of UK operator companies are demonstrating their commitment to working smarter by signing up to two initiatives designed to reduce the legal and commercial complexity of offshore operations.

Supported by the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) and Oil & Gas UK, the new Standard Study Agreement and updated Commercial Code of Practice will help the sector’s drive to improve the efficiency of businesses across the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS).

To date, 30 companies have registered their commitment to the refreshed Commercial Code of Practice which has been rewritten to reflect the obligations associated with the MER UK strategy and negotiation best practices from across the industry.  The Code, first established by Oil & Gas UK in 2002, is designed to help companies take a co-operative approach to reaching commercial agreements in a timely and efficient manner through good practice and senior management commitment.

Mike Tholen, Oil & Gas UK’s upstream policy director, said: “The industry is rising to the challenge set by the OGA, and before that the Wood Review, to remove the barriers to activity in mature areas of the UKCS. It is clear industry is increasingly co-operative in its bid to simplify complexity and reduce the time taken to carry out commercial and legal negotiations.  Initiatives such as these are key to addressing the basin’s competitiveness and unlocking new developments.”

Simon Churchfield, OGA commercial manager, said: “We are very impressed with the way that industry has taken on the challenge and established a process for delivering change.

“These are great first steps and we look forward to supporting industry as it tackles more model form agreements and works to embed the revised Commercial Code of Practice and its supporting guidance into everyday working culture.”


Note to Editors

  • The new Industry Model Form: Study Agreement complements the existing Infrastructure Code of Practice (“ICOP”) which aims to facilitate third party access to existing infrastructure. The ICOP is now administered by the OGA, and was previously overseen by DECC.
  • The new Industry Model Form: Study Agreement is the latest addition to the suite of Oil & Gas UK Standard agreements and is available to members free of charge. Other standard agreements include the joint operating agreement, decommissioning security agreement, confidentiality agreement and pipeline proximity agreement.
  • Information about the Commercial Code of Practice is available here.