UK Operators Moving to Simplify Legal, Commercial Offshore Practices

A rising number of UK operators are signing up to two initiatives designed to reduce the legal and commercial complexity of offshore operations, Oil & Gas UK said.

The increasing adoption the new Standard Study Agreement and an updated Commercial Code of Practice will help the sector’s drive to improve the efficiency of businesses across the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS), according to Oil & Gas UK.

To date, 30 companies have registered their commitment to the refreshed Commercial Code of Practice, which has been rewritten to reflect obligations associated with the MER UK strategy and negotiation best practices from across the industry.  

The Code, first established by Oil & Gas UK in 2002, is designed to help companies take a co-operative approach to reaching commercial agreements in a timely and efficient manner through good practice and senior management commitment.  

“The industry is rising to the challenge set by the OGA, and before that the Wood Review, to remove the barriers to activity in mature areas of the UKCS. It is clear industry is increasingly co-operative in its bid to simplify complexity and reduce the time taken to carry out commercial and legal negotiations. Initiatives such as these are key to addressing the basin’s competitiveness and unlocking new developments,” Mike Tholen, Oil & Gas UK’s upstream policy director, said.

“We are very impressed with the way that industry has taken on the challenge and established a process for delivering change,” Simon Churchfield, commercial manager in the OGA’s Regulation Directorate, said.

“These are great first steps and we look forward to supporting industry as it tackles more model form agreements and works to embed the revised Commercial Code of Practice and its supporting guidance into everyday working culture,” he added.


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