Our history

In the past 50 years, UK regulation of energy has either been handled by a stand-alone energy department or combined with another government department.

The post-war Ministry of Power was subsumed into the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in 1970 but emerged as the Department of Energy in 1974 in the wake of the 1973 oil crisis. With the privatisation of the British National Oil Corporation, the Department of Energy was re-incorporated into DTI in 1992.

This lasted until 2008 when the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) was formed by combining the energy functions of the Department for Business, Energy and Regulatory Reform, the successor to DTI, and climate change from the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

In 2013 the then Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, announced a review of UK offshore oil and gas recovery and its regulation, led by Sir Ian Wood.  

Sir Ian published his report on 24 February 2014, and in July 2014, the Government published its response,  accepting all of the Review’s recommendations and provided further detail on its commitment to fully implement them

One of the main recommendations was that a new arm’s length body charged with effective stewardship and regulation of UKCS hydrocarbon recovery and maximising collaboration across the Industry be created.

As a result, the OGA was formed in April 2015, as an independent authority with enhanced powers, initially as an executive agency of DECC (now the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy). Our early priorities and progress were set out in two reports: Call to Action 2015 and Call to Action: Six months on

In October 2016 we became 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.  

In February 2021 the revised OGA Strategy came in force.  The revised Strategy reflects the ongoing energy transition and features a range of net zero obligations on the oil and gas industry, including stepping up efforts to reduce production emissions, support carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects and unlock clean hydrogen production.