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To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Oil and Gas Authority's December 2018 document entitled Retention Areas Agreed (Updated December 2018) 2014 Model Clauses, whether the Oil and Gas Authority assessed whether the operator required a guarantor when granting Third Energy an extension to their work commitments for licences AL006, DL005, PL079, PL080, PL081, PEDL177, PL077.
The OGA carries out financial assessments, as part of which a Parent Company Guarantee may be required, for all companies when there is a licence transaction to consider, specifically when considering licence award, licence assignment, changes of control, drilling consent, and field development consent. Applications for Retention Areas (such as those applied for by Third Energy) do not trigger a financial assessment.
When a Licensee applies for a Retention Area within an existing Licenced Area, this allows the Licensee to undertake exploration and appraisal activities within a set time period, as set out in the related Retention Area Plan. An application for a Retention Area therefore does not create any additional risk, since the operations will have either been appropriately assessed already, or operations proposed will be financially assessed at such a point it is appropriate, for example, when applying for consent to drill.