The OGA Strategy (“Strategy”) is clear that operators and licensees should develop good environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) practices in their plans and daily operations.

Furthermore the Strategy has introduced a new Governance supporting obligation  which states that licensees of an offshore license must apply good and proper governance at all times, including complying with any governance principles and practices as the NSTA may from time to time direct.

In doing so, they will also meet investor requirements, as vital climate-related information will be included alongside other key metrics in oil and gas operators and licensees’ financial reports.

The NSTA is committed to actively promote the importance of ESG for investors, supporting clarity in ESG disclosure and reporting, and working with industry in the development of exemplar ESG practices.


On 22 February 2024, the NSTA has written an open letter to licensees urging them to improve their ESG reporting to promote trust and encourage investment in the industry. 

The letter identifies four current issues with ESG Data sharing between the participants of joint ventures which can result in some partners finding it difficult to comply with their ESG reporting obligations and suggests possible solutions.  The letter can be viewed here.

On 31 March 2022, Joanne Edgeler, Head of Licensee Governance and ESG, NSTA and Chair, NSTA ESG Taskforce, sent an open letter to all licensees urging them to focus on high-quality ESG disclosure and reporting to demonstrate the UKCS is an attractive investment proposition for investors and lenders. This will assist in maintaining investor confidence in both oil & gas and the energy transition and provide continued access to financial capital.  The letter can be viewed here

On 13 January 2022 after an 8 week formal consultation the NSTA published its Governance Guidance and its response to the consultation.  Both can be found here.

On 15 December 2022, the NSTA published its inaugural ESG Disclosure Report, which contained recommendations to help the oil and gas sector continue to attract investment. Read the report here.

NSTA ESG Taksforce

The NSTA set up a cross industry/investor and lender ESG taskforce in 2020 when it was clear from investor/lender engagement - itself under pressure to support low-carbon business - that there was a gap between investor expectations and what was actually being reported by industry.

The Taskforce initially focused on the ‘E’ of ESG, in light of a perceived lack of standardised metrics that were manageable, repeatable, and comparable for industry and investors. It agreed on a series of expectations for the future direction companies should take:

  • Operators and licensees to disclose climate related data in their financial reports, and/or websites
  • Industry to be mindful of the gap between investor expectations and what industry are currently reporting and we will encourage and ensure better disclosure & transparency
  • Disclosure should both be quantitative and qualitative with signalled improvements over time
  • Senior leadership teams to set the tone at company strategy level

The Taskforce agreed an outline for optimal ESG reporting and several key indicators which it recommended that operators and licensees align to, and be ready to report in Q1 22, alongside the publication of their 2021 full year audited financial reports financial reports.


ESG Taskforce members

Name Organisation
Joanne Edgeler NSTA
Marc Benton NSTA
Adil Hussain NSTA
Robin Allan Brindex
Paul Hatton Harbour Energy
Paul Ness Ithaca Energy
Clara Altobell Serica Energy
Tushar Kumar Kerogen Capital
Kenneth Baillie, Wendy Keenan DNB Bank
Jonas Persson Lloyds Bank
Judith Aldersey-Williams CMS
Gillian Frew Pinsent Masons
Alex Smith Investec Equity Research
Francesca Bell Offshore Energies UK


Joanne Edgeler, Head of Licensee Governance and ESG, NSTA

Marc Benton, Senior Investment Manager, NSTA


ESG Taskforce reports

The March 2021 Taskforce recommendations can be viewed here.

ESG Taskforce revised Terms of Reference February 2022