The OGA’s escalation process describes the steps the OGA will usually take leading up to a decision whether or not to exercise its powers, and the process is illustrated in the figure below:
OGA's measured escalation process
When the OGA launches an investigation, a summary of this will be recorded in our online case register. A link to the case register can be found here. Once an investigation has been concluded the outcome will be published by the OGA, details of published cases can be found on our Regulatory Decisions page here.
When considering whether or not to take action using the formal powers the OGA will review that issue alongside its prioritisation criteria which includes, Impact on MER UK, Strategic significance for the OGA, OGA time and cost; and Likelihood of success.
For more detailed information on the prioritisation criteria please refer to the OGA’s Enquiry Guidance.
The OGA has recently published guidance on its new Enquiry process. When an issue has not been resolved by stewardship, facilitation or enhanced facilitation it will be passed onto the OGA’s Regulation Directorate for further consideration and whether formal powers could be applied to resolve the issue. A link to the guidance can be found here along with the OGA’s response to comments received from the Commercial Manager’s Forum steering group.
Quick links to Guidance
The OGA have published a range of guidance which can be accessed (by clicking the graphics) below:
When an issue has not been resolved by stewardship, facilitation or enhanced facilitation it will be reclassified as a case.
The Enquiry process acts as a filter to enable the OGA to assess the most appropriate course of action.
The OGA can give a person a sanction notice if it considers that the person has failed to comply with a ‘petroleum-related requirement’, which is defined as either a duty to act in accordance with the MER UK Strategy, a term or condition of an offshore licence, or a requirement imposed by specified provisions in the Energy Act 2016.
Financial Penalty Guidance
Guidance as to the matters to which the OGA will have regard when determining the level of financial penalty in a financial penalty notice.
Guidance on Disputes over Third Party Access to Upstream Oil and Gas Infrastructure
If a third party is unable to agree satisfactory terms of access with the owner of upstream oil and gas infrastructure, the third party seeking such access can – and in line with the Infrastructure Code of Practice may have committed to – make an application to the OGA to require access to be granted and to determine the terms on which it is to be granted.
The OGA’s guidance on disputes over third party access to upstream oil and gas infrastructure sets out the requirements and obligations on all parties. It also sets out the approach the OGA would take in handling applications and the principles the OGA would expect to be guided by in determining terms of access.
Dispute Resolution Guidance
A wide range of disputes can be referred to the OGA under the provisions of Part 2 Section 2 of the Energy Act 2016.
The OGA’s dispute resolution guidance sets out the requirements and obligations on all parties. It also sets out the approach the OGA would take in handling disputes and the principles the OGA would expect to be guided by in determining an optimal outcome that the OGA considers will best contribute to the fulfilment of the principal objective to maximise the economic recovery of UK petroleum whilst having regard to the need to achieve an economically viable position for the parties.
Guidance on satisfactory expected commercial return (SECR)
This guidance sets out the approach the OGA will usually take in assessing whether a project achieves a SECR.
The OGA is aware companies use a wide range of metrics and inputs in assessing their returns, not all of which are included in the guidance. The OGA will assess SECR only for the purposes of and as set out in the MER UK Strategy.
Where the SECR safeguard is applied, the OGA aims to take a pragmatic approach, including having discussions with the companies involved, to understand the project.
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