Revised OGA Strategy now in force and BEIS consults on CCUS

United Kingdom

The Oil and Gas Authority (“OGA”) has confirmed that its revised Strategy came into force on 11 February 2021. The revised Strategy was submitted for laying in the UK Parliament in December last year following its first four yearly review and associated consultation. The revised Strategy, now called the “OGA Strategy”, contains a range of new net zero obligations on the industry which reflect the ongoing global energy transition.

A key feature of the OGA Strategy is the updated Central Obligation which has been expanded to include a second limb requiring relevant persons to “take appropriate steps to assist the Secretary of State in meeting the net zero target, including by reducing as far as reasonable in the circumstances greenhouse gas emissions from sources such as flaring and venting and power generation, and supporting carbon capture and storage projects”. The OGA now considers that the net zero target is an integral part of maximising economic recovery of the UK’s oil and gas reserves.

The OGA Strategy imposes a number of other new obligations on the industry, including in relation to corporate governance, collaboration and supporting Carbon Capture and Storage (“CCS”) Projects. For more information on the revised Strategy, please see our Law-Now here.

On 10 March 2021, the day before the revised Strategy came into force, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (“BEIS”) launched a consultation on Carbon Capture Usage and Storage (“CCUS”). The consultation seeks views from those involved in potential CCUS projects, the industrial and energy sectors, as well as any organisations with an interest in climate and energy. The consultation follows on from the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution. For more information, see our earlier Law-Now on this topic here. The Plan announced a commitment to deploy two carbon capture clusters by the mid-2020s and a further two clusters by 2030. BEIS has proposed a two-phase process which would be followed when allocating CCUS programme support.