Reporting and Disclosure of Information

There are two regulatory regimes that require licensees and other “relevant persons” to report information and samples to the OGA. These are the Petroleum Act 1998 (and its associated licence terms) and the Energy Act 2016.

The Petroleum Act 1998 (PA1998)

PA1998 is applicable to information and samples created or acquired in relation to wells completed and surveys acquired prior to 1st January 2018. The OGA has issued updated guidance on the retention, reporting and “release” (i.e. disclosure) of relevant information and samples in Petroleum Operation Notice 9 (PON 9). PON9 provides guidance on how to report information and samples under PA1998 to the OGA via the NDR or other means. Follow this link for further information: https://www.ogauthority.co.uk/exploration-production/petroleum-operations-notices/pon-9/.

The Energy Act 2016 (EA2016)  

Following an OGA consultation, the Secretary of State for BEIS made new regulations in relation to the retention and disclosure of petroleum related information and samples in May and August of 2018 respectively. These regulations are generally applicable to petroleum related information and samples that were created or acquired on or following 1st January 2018. Note that the scope of information in the Energy Act 2016 is wider than that of the Petroleum Act 1998.

The OGA has published guidance on the requirement for relevant persons to retain information and samples under EA2016 here https://www.ogauthority.co.uk/news-publications/publications/2018/retention-of-information-and-samples-guidance/.

The OGA has the power to require the reporting of information and samples under section 34 of the Energy Act 2016. Guidance on the reporting of information and samples in response to a section 34 reporting notice can be found here https://www.ogauthority.co.uk/news-publications/publications/2019/reporting-and-disclosure-of-information-and-samples-guidance/.

Disclosure of Information and Samples

The information provided below is for general reference purposes only and should not be considered official guidance or a replacement for official guidance published by the OGA. Links to official guidance documents are provided in each section, as appropriate.

  • Wellbore information disclosure

    The OGA initially holds all reported information in confidence; no information will be disclosed until the relevant disclosure date is reached, although under EA2016 some “summary information” in relation to wells and surveys can be disclosed immediately it is received by the OGA.

    In the case of wellbores disclosed under PA1998, information from those drilled under licences awarded up to and including the 19th licensing round may be disclosed by the OGA 4 years after the regulatory completion date of the wellbore.

    The OGA may disclose information relating to wellbores drilled under licences that were awarded from the 20th licensing round onwards 3 years from the regulatory completion date of the wellbore, or upon full licence determination.

    As set out in PON9, operators have 6 months from the wellbore regulatory completion date in which to provide the OGA with the required information.

    EA2016 regulations for information and samples are enforced from 1 January 2018; from then onwards information relating to all wellbores (regardless of the associated licence round) is generally required to be reported within 6 months of the regulatory completion date.

    The OGA may disclose such information 2 years after it has been reported or on surrender of the relevant licence area (but note that the whole licence does not need to be determined).

    In short:

    1st to 19th licensing round; until 31st December 2017 PA1998 4-year confidentiality period
    20th licensing round onwards; until 31st December 2017 PA1998 3-year confidentiality period
    1st January 2018 onwards EA2016 2-year confidentiality period

    Exclusions to this include where the associated acreage is relinquished, at which point the wellbore information becomes disclosable.

    Guidance on the disclosure of information and samples that are reported in response to a section 34 reporting notice can be found here:

    https://www.ogauthority.co.uk/media/5353/oga-guidance-on-reporting-disclosure-18-february-2019.pdf

    This flowchart outlines wellbore information disclosure:

     

     

     

  • Disclosure of geophysical Information acquired pursuant to a Production Licence

    Offshore seismic data that has been acquired on a Production Licence is made available through the NDR. This may otherwise be known as “Proprietary” data, because it is usually acquired by, or on behalf of, a production licensee, and is the intellectual property of the licensee.
    For data that was acquired before 1st January 2018, the PA1998 licence terms apply and for data that was acquired from 1 January 2018 onwards, EA2016 regulations apply.

    In the case of geophysical surveys acquired under PA1998, information from those acquired under licences awarded up to and including the 19th licensing round may be disclosed by the OGA 4 years after the end of the year in which the survey was acquired.

    The OGA may disclose information relating to surveys acquired under licences that were awarded from the 20th licensing round onwards 3 years from the end of the year of acquisition, or if the full licence is determined and the survey is entirely within the licence boundaries, the data may be disclosed.

    Under EA2016, disclosure may occur 5 years from the date on which processing was completed. If the licence is partly relinquished and the survey is entirely within the surrendered acreage, the data may be disclosed.

    In short:

    1st to 19th licensing round; until 31st December 2017 PA1998 4-year confidentiality period
    20th licensing round onwards; until 31st December 2017 PA1998 3-year confidentiality period
    1st January 2018 onwards EA2016 5-year confidentiality period

    Guidance on the disclosure of information and samples that are reported in response to a section 34 reporting notice is available here:
    https://www.ogauthority.co.uk/media/5353/oga-guidance-on-reporting-disclosure-18-february-2019.pdf  

    This flowchart outlines disclosure of geophysical information acquired under a production licence:

    Disclosure of geophysical information acquired pursuant to an Exploration Licence

    Offshore geophysical data that has been acquired on an Exploration Licence is made available through the NDR. This may otherwise be known as “Commercial”, “Multiclient” or “Speculative/Spec” data; it is usually acquired by a commercial geophysical company for the purposes of sale to clients. Rights to the information may be licenced to multiple clients while the information remains the intellectual property of the exploration licensee. Other companies, including Oil and Gas companies, may also hold Exploration Licences. Survey information that is acquired pursuant to any exploration licence is treated in the same way, regardless of the type of organisation holding the licence.

    For data that was acquired before 1st January 2018, the PA1998 licence terms apply and for data that was acquired from 1 January 2018 onwards, EA2016 regulations apply.

    PA1998 licence terms allow for disclosure of information after shorter confidentiality periods than is the case for information that is caught by the EA2016 regulations. However, at this time, for clarity and in the best interests of the majority of stakeholders, the OGA considers that all geophysical information acquired under and Exploration Licence should be disclosed in accordance with the longer confidentiality periods set out in the EA2016 regulations, regardless of under which licensing regime it was acquired.

    Accordingly, the OGA may disclose “original” information relating to surveys acquired under exploration licences 15 years from the date on which processing was completed. “Processed” information may be disclosed 10 years from the date on which processing was completed.

    In short:

    Geophysical Survey – Original information PA1998 & EA2016 15-year confidentiality period
    Geophysical Survey – Processed information PA1998 & EA2016 10-year confidentiality period

    Guidance on the disclosure of geophysical survey data acquired pursuant to an exploration licence is available here:

    Reporting and Disclosure of Information and Samples: Guidance - on the disclosure of certain Geophysical Survey Data (created or acquired under an Exploration Licence post-2017)

    Reporting and Disclosure of Information and Samples: Guidance - on the disclosure of certain Geophysical Survey Data (created or acquired under an Exploration Licence pre-2018)

    This flowchart outlines disclosure of information acquired under an exploration licence:

  • Seismic Trace Data Reporting Review Process

    All principle processing stages of trace data pertaining to “EA2016” seismic surveys acquired on Production Licences are required to be routinely reported to the NDR, in a prescribed form and manner, as set out in reporting guidance.

    For “PA1998” seismic surveys it is only the post-stack version that is required to be routinely reported to the NDR at this time. The OGA requires owners of PA1998 related surveys to retain any associated field, pre-stack and other data that is required, as set out in PON9. Such data must be retained in perpetuity, unless and until the OGA requires it to be reported, either on a routine or an ad-hoc basis. Data must be held in a recoverable and accessible state, such that it may be retrieved and reported at any time.

    The OGA will consider the reporting of historic PA1998 field and pre-stack data etc. in certain circumstances. These may include where there is a clear and wide-reaching benefit, for instance where making the data available contributes to OGA’s objectives, including for the purposes of supporting the Energy Transition.

    The OGA may therefore require ad-hoc reporting of such data to the NDR on the basis of a request from a 3rd party that does not have rights to the data, and that a firm commitment is made by the requestor to reprocess the data in support of MER or Energy Transition objectives.

    Reporting may only be initiated by the OGA. This may be on the behalf of a requestor.

    The OGA may not disclose information in the NDR that has not been formally reported.

  • Requests for unreported geophysical data

    Production Licence data: Users of the NDR may raise a “Missing Seismic Data Request” through the NDR web interface for geophysical information that was acquired on a production licence. The names of offshore production licences begin with the letter P, followed by up to four numbers. Your request will be referred to the OGA’s NDR team for consideration and a response.


    Exploration Licence data: Enquirers may request publication of Pre-2018 geophysical data acquired under and exploration licence using this form.  The names of offshore exploration licences begin with the letter E, followed by up to three numbers. Your request will be referred to the OGA’s Exploration and New Ventures team for consideration and a response.

    Any enquiries in relation to the services set out above should be directed to our NDR team ndr@ogauthority.co.uk