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What we do - Licensing and consents

The UK’s offshore and onshore energy resources are being developed by a wide range of companies spanning different sectors. These rich and abundant resources continue to attract new companies and investors from within the UK and overseas. 

Og Licensing Round 1 2
Licensing and consents

Licences fall into several categories. The principal distinctions are between onshore licences and offshore licences, with a further distinction between exploration licences.

Production Consents

Under the Model Clauses in the licence, licensees are required to obtain authorisation from the NSTA to install facilities or to produce hydrocarbons.


The Petroleum E-business Assignments and Relinquishment System (PEARS) is the NSTA’s portal-based licence administration system.

Licence assignments

As from 1 October 2016, the Energy Act 2016, and Regulations made under it, transferred certain functions from the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change (now the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero) to the Oil and Gas Authority.

Licensee criteria

We believe we can ensure economic recovery, whilst supporting the drive to net zero carbon by 2050, by having a diverse mix of companies involved in the UKCS – from super majors to mid-cap businesses to small, niche players.

Change of control

The model clauses do not impose any requirement for approval of a change of control of a Licensee, for example, a corporate takeover, but they do grant NSTA the power to require a further change of control, and failing that a power of revocation.