The UK Government has officially made the Oil and Gas Authority an independent government company. This move has been hailed by the industry, including oil and gas contractors, as the body will now be able to use its new powers to regulate the industry, which is facing serious problems.
The Oil and Gas Authority will be able to resolve disputes, impose sanctions on oil and gas companies, have access to board meetings, issue warning notices, levy fines up to £1 million, ensure that notices are followed, revoke licences, and even remove an operator. It will also have the powers to work with the sector to develop comprehensive processes and plans for decommissioning.
Oil and Gas Authority Chief Executive Andy Samuel stated that the regulatory body has been working since its inception to support the oil and gas industry in the country so that it can maximise the investments that companies make to explore and extract oil and gas. However, the UK oil and gas sector has now realised the importance of competing with other global companies for investments, and this has prompted it to adopt newer and better measures to boost efficiency and productions.
Samuel stated that the Oil and Gas Authority’s independence marks a new beginning for the regulator and the industry, and hopes that the body would continue regulating, promoting and influencing the UK oil and gas sector while working in collaboration with the industry as well as the Government.
The Oil and Gas Authority intends to leverage its new powers to not only ensure economic recovery, but to also boost transparency, collaboration and delivery schedules. Samuel said that the regulatory body was going to help UK oil and gas contractors and companies to fulfil their potential of being able to increase production in certain oilfields to meet the energy needs of the nation.