Oil and Gas Authority becomes government company

The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) has been established as an independent government company.

Regulatory powers for oil and gas have now been formally transferred from the government to the OGA, which will have the authority to resolve disputes, gain access to meetings and impose sanctions. It has been tasked with ensuring the cost-effective decommissioning of oil and gas assets as North Sea production appears to enter a terminal decline.

“Today marks a new chapter for the OGA,” said its chief executive Andy Samuel. “All the good work will carry on as we regulate, influence and promote the oil and gas sector, working closely with industry and government.

“We will use our new powers strategically to help maximise economic recovery and increase collaboration, transparency and pace of delivery. We are committed to helping industry capitalise on the potential 20 billion barrels of oil equivalent that remain.”

Business and energy secretary Greg Clark said: “We have a world leading oil and gas industry in the UK that we are extremely proud of, and establishing an independent regulator shows that we are listening to what the industry needs.

“As a government company the Oil and Gas Authority will have the powers it needs to be a strong, independent regulator and act with greater speed and flexibility to attract investment, support jobs and ensure that UK oil and gas remains a major player on the world stage.”