The Department of Energy and Climate Change has today published for consultation a draft of its strategy for maximising economic recovery of offshore UK petroleum (“the MER UK Strategy”). 

The MER UK Strategy is a key piece of the government’s reform of the UK oil and gas industry regulation and its creation was one of the flagship recommendations of Sir Ian Wood’s UKCS Maximising Economic Recovery Review.  Once finalised, its content will have a significant impact on how the industry develops during its most challenging period in a generation. 

DECC have invited views on the suitability of the draft MER UK Strategy in particular from those to whom it will apply- that will be primarily the Oil and Gas Authority, holders and operators of petroleum licences and those who own or are planning or carrying out commissioning of upstream petroleum infrastructure. 

The consultation period is open until 8 January 2016.  DECC will be holding a workshop on 24 November2015 in London to allow interested parties to discuss and comment on the draft MER UK Strategy and its development into a final draft to be laid before Parliament in early 2016.  The intention remains that the MER UK Strategy will come into force by April 2016. 

The draft MER UK Strategy is available here.  A review of the draft MER UK Strategy will follow in a future Law-Now.