As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact on our way of life, the economic impact, combined with a significant fall in the commodity price, has hit the UK oil and gas industry hard.

The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) is firmly focused on its role of working with industry and government through this difficult time to safeguard both the energy supply we know is needed for the foreseeable future and the thousands of jobs which help deliver it.

Maintaining our critical infrastructure is vital. We’re working very closely with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and HM Treasury on financial resilience, while supporting the work of industry and trade associations such as OGUK and UKOOG on operational and logistical resilience.

The scale of the challenge is considerable, and the efforts of all parties are fixed on successfully navigating through this unprecedented period of uncertainty.

We at the OGA have swiftly re-prioritised in response to this evolving situation. Areas of immediate focus include: financial and operational resilience; operations and turnarounds; licence management; supply chain; and communication. We recognise the immediacy of the current situation and will work flexibly with all parties as appropriate.

OGA actions and reprioritisation include:

  • We have reorganised and identified key points of contact – these can be found here.
  • We will take a pragmatic approach to compliance where we can.
  • We will take a flexible approach to considering amendments to licence timelines. We encourage operators to engage with us early, with evidence, on any specific requests.
  • We expect to offer our 32nd Offshore Licensing Round awards in summer 2020 and will be considerate and open to dialogue with applicants at the time of award.
  • We have de-prioritised stewardship reviews, including only holding reviews with operators in relation to regulatory or materially significant matters.
  • We are working with operators and the supply chain to help secure timely payments.
  • We will continue to keep work under review including pausing or postponing other work if required.

In the midst of the serious threats facing the sector, we have not lost sight of the importance of achieving the UK’s net zero ambitions. We are continuing our programme to integrate net zero considerations into our work because we know that the oil and gas industry can play a significant and leading role in helping the UK achieve this. However, sensitive to the other immediate priorities facing the industry, we will implement this important net zero programme in a way which is both considerate and flexible.

In the meantime, the OGA continues to operate with all staff working remotely; please continue to contact us in the usual way.