Oil and gas development
Oil and gas licences are issued periodically. They give a company or group of companies’ exclusive rights to explore for, and develop, the resource in a particular geographic location. Licences allow a company to pursue a range of activities for conventional or unconventional oil or gas.
Licences are issued by the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) which is an Executive Agency of the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). We do not issue licences for oil and gas development.
Licences do not give consent for drilling or any other operations or development. Potential operators will still need to get the following before any development can begin:
- consent from the landowner for the siting of infrastructure
- planning permission of each stage of development (explorations, appraisal and production) from the Mineral Planning Authority
- associated regulatory consents (such as from the Environment Agency)
- any additional consents for drilling operations.
We have a duty to determine any planning application submitted us. Any individual or party can apply to us for any activity that will need planning permission. Each application is determined on its own merits, taking into consideration all relevant plans and policies in both the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and local plan.
Certain applications for planning permission may be subject to further scrutiny and decision-making. This is done through the application of Environmental Impact Assessment, as required by the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2017.
Planning is just one of a multiple consenting process in relation to this activity, administered by a range of organisations. In the first instance please refer to the government guidance on minerals, giving guidance on the planning for mineral extraction in plan making and the application process.