Third party access

Access for developers of offshore oil and gas fields to upstream infrastructure for the purpose of transporting and processing hydrocarbons is a key element in the process of extracting the UK’s petroleum resources.

Companies seeking access for their hydrocarbons to such infrastructure must apply in the first instance to the relevant owner of the infrastructure in question. The Infrastructure Code of Practice (‘ICoP’) describes good practice for negotiating third party access; the ICoP and associated Guidance Notes can be obtained free of charge as publications OP022 and OP080 respectively from Oil & Gas UK.

If a third party is unable to agree satisfactory terms of access with the owner of the upstream oil and gas infrastructure, the third party seeking such access can – and under the terms of the Infrastructure Code of Practice may be obliged to – make an application to the OGA to require access to be granted and to determine the terms on which it is to be granted.

The OGA’s guidance on disputes over third-party access to upstream oil and gas infrastructure (PDF, 390KB, 27 pages) sets out the requirements and obligations on all parties. It also sets out the approach the OGA would take in handling applications and the principles the OGA would expect to be guided by in determining terms of access.

Comments on the guidance are welcomed. It would be helpful if any proposals for changes include, wherever possible, both reasons and suggestions. For all general enquiries, write to: 

Robert White
Email: robert.a.white@ogauthority.co.uk
Telephone: 0300 067 1601

 

Summary of applications received and considered by the OGA under sections 82-84 of the Energy Act 2011 and earlier legislation.

Date applied Applicant Field Infrastructure operator Facility Outcome Link to agreed or imposed terms
Apr 2010 Endeavour Energy Rochelle Nexen Scott Platform Minded to’ terms given; parties reached agreement following further negotiation Rochelle-Scott ICoP Summary
Feb 2011 Apache North Sea Bacchus BP Forties Pipeline System ‘Minded to’ terms given; parties reached agreement following further negotiation Bacchus-FPS ICoP Summary
Sep 2013  OMV  Howe  Shell  Nelson Platform  Access terms imposed by a Notice A summary of the Notice is available below (response to FOI 2015/17155) 
Dec 2013  Iona Energy  Orlando  CNR International  Ninian Central Platform  ‘Minded to’ terms given; parties reached agreement following further negotiation  Contact infrastructure owner for summary of agreed terms
Nov 2015  Sterling Resources (UK) PLC  Cladhan  TAQA  Brent System  ‘Minded to’ terms given; parties reached agreement following further negotiation  Contact infrastructure owner for summary of agreed terms 

Summary of Howe-Nelson Terms

Performance review of infrastructure negotiations

The post activity review of negotiations provides an important opportunity to learn lessons and improve subsequent performance. For infrastructure negotiations, the SPRINT (System for Performance Review of Infrastructure Negotiation Tracking) spreadsheet implements a recommendation from the PILOT Infrastructure Access Group of 2012 and provides a helpful question set to guide post activity reviews. It is based around two phases of an infrastructure access negotiation; initial ‘Enquiry’ when several options may be considered and detailed ‘Negotiation’ when an export route has been chosen and fully termed agreements are being developed. The results of the post activity review optionally can be sent to the OGA on a confidential basis to assist with identifying wider industry trends.