OGA Extends Mediation Pilot
The UK Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) has announced that the UKCS Mediation Pilot has been extended until April 30, 2022.
In a statement posted on its website, the OGA said the scheme has had an encouraging start but noted that the unusual operating conditions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic had persuaded the organization of the need to extend the pilot further.
“There has been positive feedback but limited take up of the scheme to March 2021, which makes it difficult to properly assess its value for the sector, and for this reason the OGA wishes to give those operating in the UKCS more time to take advantage of the pilot scheme,” the OGA said in the statement.
On June 1, 2020, the OGA announced that the UKCS Mediation Pilot scheme would continue until May this year. The OGA initially launched a “year-long” UKCS Mediation Pilot on February 3 last year. Once the pilot period has completed, the OGA will review the efficacy of the scheme, the organization noted on its website on the original launch date of the pilot.
The OGA’s Mediation Pilot scheme aims to test the extent to which mediation can assist oil and gas licensees, operators, and infrastructure owners to resolve disputes, according to the organization. The OGA previously noted that it had found that disputes had generally arisen due to entrenched licensee behaviors or communication breakdowns. The organization added that these can be costly and time consuming for the companies involved, as well as threaten the delivery of MER UK.
According to its website, the OGA’s role is to maximize the economic recovery (MER) of the UK’s oil and gas resources, while also supporting the move to net zero carbon by 2050. The organization notes on its site that it believes that maximizing economic recovery of oil and gas is not in conflict with the transition to net zero carbon and that the industry has the skills, technology, and capital to help unlock solutions to help the UK achieve the net zero target.
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