Oil and gas contractors should be aware that the Energy Act has come into force. It is seen as a way to propel not just the energy goals set by the UK Government but also the energy commitments. The Act will provide new powers to the Oil and Gas Authority so that it can better support the industry in the North Sea. It will also give local communities a say on new onshore windfarms while doing away with expensive subsidies for new onshore wind projects throughout the UK.
The Oil and Gas Authority is being set up based on the recommendations of the Wood Review, which studied the North Sea oil and gas. The Authority will optimise collaboration and management of resources in the UK continental shelf.
Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Amber Rudd said that the Energy Act was crucial to the UK Government’s plan to ensure that homes and businesses have access to clean, secure and affordable energy, while keeping costs down.
It is anticipated that by strengthening and providing powers to the Oil and Gas Authority, it will drive efficiency and greater collaboration in the industry. It shows that the Government is committed to supporting the oil and gas industry so that it attracts more investments, retains jobs and stays competitive.
Oil and Gas Authority Chief Executive Andy Samuel said that the Authority welcomes the passage of the Energy Bill, which will make the Oil and Gas Authority an independent government company with powers to work in close collaboration with the industry and government so that it helps in the economic recovery of the country’s oil and gas industry.
Oil and gas contractors should know that the Energy Act will be able to charge the offshore oil and gas industry to the environment regulatory functions being carried by the DECC.