A revised MER UK Strategy: Implications for UK Oil & Gas Participants

Last month, the Oil and Gas Authority (the “OGA”) released a consultation paper (the “OGA Consultation”) setting out its proposals to revise the Maximising Economic Recovery Strategy for the UK (the “MER UK Strategy”). The OGA’s proposed revisions are potentially far-reaching and are aimed at positioning the UK’s oil and gas industry as a solution, rather than an impediment, to achieving the Government’s carbon neutrality targets. In this briefing we review five key changes proposed in the OGA’s consultation document, and consider their impact on participants in the oil and gas industry. The MER UK Strategy will be familiar to all participants in the industry.  Since March 2016, the MER UK Strategy has had as its core obligation a requirement to “take the steps necessary to secure that the maximum value of economically recoverable petroleum is recovered from the strata beneath relevant UK waters”. The OGA Consultation, released on 6 May 2020, has been issued in the wake of the UK government’s introduction of legislation in June 2019 to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 (the “Net Zero Target”). Read more