In order to maximise the economic recovery of UK oil and gas resources, the OGA has been given a range of powers.
Petroleum Act 1998
The Petroleum Act 1998 vests all rights to the UK’s petroleum resources in the Crown and provides the OGA with the power to can grant licences that confer exclusive rights to ‘search and bore for and get’ petroleum. Each of these licenses confers such rights over a limited area and for a limited period.
Infrastructure Act 2015
The Infrastructure Act 2015 put into statute the principal objective of maximising the economic recovery of the UK’s offshore oil and gas resources.
The Act also provides the legislative basis for the MER UK Strategy and the requirement for the OGA and industry to act in accordance with the Strategy, which sets out how, in practice, the principle objective should be achieved by the OGA and industry.
The power to raise a levy on industry to fund the OGA is also provided by this Act.
Energy Act 2016
The Energy Act 2016, which received Royal Assent in May 2016, creates the legislative framework to formally establish the OGA as a government company, limited by shares under the Companies Act 2006,with the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy the sole shareholder. The Energy Act 2016 also provides the OGA with new regulatory powers, including the ability to participate in meetings with operators, to have access to data, provide dispute resolution and introduce a range of sanctions such as enforcement notices and fines of up to £1 million.
Energy Act 2011
The Energy Act 2011 also provides the OGA with dispute-resolution powers in relation to third-party access to upstream petroleum infrastructure.