To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the compatibility of the Oil and Gas Authority's remit to maximise the economic recovery of the UK's oil and gas resources with the responsibility given in the 30 November 2017 Direction to the Oil and Gas Authority, to take account of whether the conditions in section 4A of the Petroleum Act 1998 are met; and if he will make a statement.
The Department has not conferred general responsibility on the Oil and Gas Authority to assess the conditions set out in section 4A of the Petroleum Act 1998. The direction of 30 November 2017 only applies in limited circumstances (i.e. to certain wells not captured by the requirement to seek Hydraulic Fracturing Consent) to address a loophole, as set out in the accompanying Written Ministerial Statement. Where it does apply, the duty on the Oil and Gas Authority must take account of the Department’s view on the matters, as set out in paragraphs 4 and 5 of the direction.