Energy Bill (HC Bill 128)

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31 Preparation and agreement of information and samples plans

(1) The responsible person must prepare an information and samples plan in
connection with a licence event.

(2) The responsible person must agree the information and samples plan with the
5OGA—

(a) in the case of a licence event mentioned in section 30(3)(a), (b) or (c)
(transfer, surrender or expiry), before the licence event takes place, or

(b) in the case of a licence event mentioned in section 30(3)(d) (revocation),
within a reasonable period after the revocation of the relevant licence.

(3) 10An information and samples plan has effect once it is agreed with the OGA.

(4) If an information and samples plan is not agreed with the OGA as mentioned
in subsection (2)(a) or (b), the OGA—

(a) may itself prepare an information and samples plan in connection with
the licence event, and

(b) 15may require the responsible person to provide it with such information
as the OGA may require to enable it to do so.

(5) The OGA must inform the responsible person of the terms of any information
and samples plan it prepares in connection with a licence event.

(6) Where the OGA—

(a) 20prepares an information and samples plan in connection with a licence
event, and

(b) informs the responsible person of the terms of the plan,

the plan has effect as if it had been prepared by the responsible person and
agreed with the OGA.

(7) 25Where an information and samples plan has effect in connection with a licence
event, the responsible person must comply with the plan.

(8) The requirements imposed by subsections (2) and (7), or under subsection
(4)(b), are sanctionable in accordance with Chapter

5

30.

32 Changes to information and samples plans

(1) Where an information and samples plan has effect in relation to a licence event,
the OGA and the responsible person may agree changes to the plan.

(2) Once changes are agreed, the plan has effect subject to those changes.

(3) 35Where—

(a) two or more persons are the responsible person in relation to a licence
event, and

(b) those persons include a company that has, since the licence event, been
dissolved,

40the reference to the responsible person in subsection (1) does not include that
company.

33 Information and samples plans: supplementary

(1) An information and samples plan, in relation to a licence event, may provide
as appropriate for—

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(a) the retention, by the responsible person, of any petroleum-related
information or petroleum-related samples held by or on behalf of that
person before the licence event,

(b) the transfer of any such information or samples to a new licensee or to
5a person holding a carbon dioxide storage licence, or

(c) appropriate storage of such information or samples.

(2) An information and samples plan prepared by the OGA under section 31(4)
may not include provision under subsection (1)(b) for the transfer of
information or samples to another person without the consent of the
10responsible person.

(3) Where an information and samples plan makes provision under subsection (1)
for a person, other than the responsible person, to hold information or samples
in accordance with the plan—

(a) the plan may, with the consent of that other person, impose
15requirements on that person in connection with the information and
samples, and

(b) any such requirements are sanctionable in accordance with Chapter

5

.

(4) 20An information and samples plan may provide for the storage of information
or samples as mentioned in subsection (1)(c) to be the responsibility of the
OGA.

(5) Subsection (6) applies where a transfer of rights under an offshore licence
relates to only part of the area in relation to which the licence was granted.

(6) 25In those circumstances, the information and samples plan prepared in
connection with the transfer is to relate to all petroleum-related information
and petroleum-related samples held by the responsible person before the
licence event, and not only petroleum-related information and petroleum-
related samples in respect of that part of the area.

(7) 30In subsection (1)(b) “carbon dioxide storage licence” means a licence granted
under section 18 of the Energy Act 2008.

Power to require information and samples

34 Power of the OGA to require information and samples

(1) The OGA may by notice in writing, for the purpose of carrying out any
35functions of the OGA which are relevant to the fulfilment of the principal
objective or which relate to activities carried out under a carbon dioxide
storage licence, require—

(a) a relevant person to provide it with any petroleum-related information,
or a portion of any petroleum-related sample, held by or on behalf of
40the person;

(b) a person who holds information or samples in accordance with an
information and samples plan (see sections 30 to 33) to provide it with
any such information or a portion of any such sample,

subject to subsection (3).

(2) 45The notice must specify—

(a) the form or manner in which the information or the portion of a sample
must be provided;

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(b) the time at which, or period within which, the information or the
portion of a sample must be provided.

(3) Information requested under subsection (1) may not include items subject to
legal privilege.

(4) 5Requirements imposed by a notice under this section are sanctionable in
accordance with Chapter

5

.

(5) Where a person provides information or a portion of a sample to the OGA in
10accordance with a notice under this section, any requirements imposed on the
person in respect of that information or sample by regulations under section 28
are unaffected.

(6) In subsection (1) “carbon dioxide storage licence” means a licence granted
under section 18 of the Energy Act 2008.

15Coordinators

35 Information and samples coordinators

(1) A relevant person must—

(a) appoint an individual to act as an information and samples
coordinator, and

(b) 20notify the OGA of that individual’s name and contact details.

(2) The information and samples coordinator is to be responsible for monitoring
the relevant person’s compliance with its obligations under this Chapter.

(3) A relevant person must comply with subsection (1) within a reasonable period
after—

(a) 25the date on which this section comes into force, if the person is a
relevant person on that date, or

(b) becoming a relevant person, in any other case.

(4) The relevant person must notify the OGA of any change in the identity or
contact details of the information and samples coordinator within a reasonable
30period of the change taking place.

(5) The requirements imposed by this section are sanctionable in accordance with
Chapter

5

.

35Appeals

36 Appeals against decisions of the OGA: information and samples plans

(1) This section applies to any decision of the OGA to which effect is given by one
of the actions set out in an entry in column 1 of the table below.

(2) A person affected by any such decision may appeal against it to the Tribunal—

(a) 40on the grounds that the decision was not within the powers of the OGA,
or

(b) on the grounds set out in the corresponding entry in column 2 of the
table.

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(1) Action by the OGA (2) Grounds for appeal
The preparation of an information
and samples plan.
The plan is unreasonable.
The giving of a notice requiring
the provision of information or
samples under section 34(1).
The length of time given to
5comply with the notice is
unreasonable.

(3) On an appeal under this section the Tribunal may—

(a) affirm, vary or quash the decision under appeal,

(b) remit the decision under appeal to the OGA for reconsideration with
10such directions (if any) as the Tribunal considers appropriate, or

(c) substitute its own decision for the decision under appeal.

CHAPTER 4 Meetings

37 Meetings: interpretation

(1) A meeting is a relevant meeting for the purposes of this Chapter if—

(a) 15two or more relevant persons are represented at the meeting, and

(b) the meeting involves discussion of relevant issues.

(2) A relevant person is represented at a meeting if an employee of, or a person
acting on behalf of, the relevant person participates in the meeting.

(3) In this Chapter “meeting” includes a meeting which is conducted in such a way
20that those who are not present together at the same place may by electronic
means participate in it.

(4) In this Chapter “relevant issues” means issues which—

(a) are relevant to the fulfilment of the principal objective, or

(b) relate to activities carried out under an offshore licence,

25but does not include anything in respect of which a claim to legal professional
privilege (or, in Scotland, to confidentiality of communications) could be
maintained in any legal proceedings.

(5) A notice given by the OGA may provide that—

(a) a meeting specified, or of a description specified, in the notice is not a
30relevant meeting for the purposes of this Chapter;

(b) an issue specified, or of a description specified, in the notice is not a
relevant issue for those purposes.

38 Duty to inform the OGA of meetings

(1) This section applies where a relevant person, or an employee of or person
35acting on behalf of the relevant person, knows or should know that a meeting
arranged by, or on behalf of, the relevant person will be or is likely to be a
relevant meeting.

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(2) The relevant person must, in writing—

(a) inform the OGA of the fact that the meeting is to take place, and

(b) provide such details of the meeting as are necessary for a person
authorised by the OGA to be able to participate in it.

(3) 5The relevant person must comply with subsection (2)—

(a) at least 14 days before the day on which the meeting is to take place, or

(b) if that is not reasonably practicable, so as to give as much notice of the
meeting as is reasonably practicable.

(4) In a case within subsection (3)(b) the relevant person must, when complying
10with subsection (2), explain in writing to the OGA why it was not reasonably
practicable to comply with subsection (2) at least 14 days before the day on
which the meeting is to take place.

(5) The relevant person must inform the OGA in writing as soon as is reasonably
practicable of any changes to the information provided under subsection (2)(b).

(6) 15The relevant person must also provide the OGA with any information that is
provided (whether by the relevant person or any other person) to other
persons attending the meeting, including (in particular)—

(a) the agenda, and

(b) any other documents relevant to the meeting.

(7) 20That information must be provided to the OGA—

(a) at the same time as it is provided to other persons attending the
meeting, or

(b) if it not possible for the relevant person to provide it to the OGA at that
time, as soon after that time as is reasonably practicable.

(8) 25Subsection (6) does not require the relevant person to provide the OGA with
information that does not relate to relevant issues.

(9) The information required under subsections (2), (5) and (6), and any
explanation provided under subsection (4), must be provided to the OGA in
such manner as may be required by a notice given by the OGA.

(10) 30The requirements imposed by this section are sanctionable in accordance with
Chapter

5

.

39 Participation by the OGA in meetings

(1) 35A person authorised by the OGA under this section is entitled to participate in
any relevant meeting.

(2) But such a person is not entitled—

(a) to participate in any part of the meeting that does not relate to relevant
issues, or

(b) 40if any matter is decided on by a vote, to take part in the voting.

(3) The relevant person who arranged the meeting, or on whose behalf the
meeting was arranged, must secure that the right conferred by subsection (1)
may be exercised.

(4) The requirement imposed by subsection (3) is sanctionable in accordance with
45Chapter

5

.

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40 Provision of information to the OGA after meetings

(1) This section applies where the right conferred by section 39(1) (right of person
authorised by the OGA to participate) is not exercised in relation to a relevant
meeting.

(2) 5The relevant person by, or on behalf of whom, the meeting was arranged must
provide the OGA with a written summary of—

(a) the meeting, and

(b) any decisions reached at the meeting.

(3) The written summary must be provided to the OGA within a reasonable
10period after the end of the meeting.

(4) Subsection (2) does not require the relevant person to provide the OGA with
any information that does not relate to relevant issues.

(5) The requirement imposed by this section is sanctionable in accordance with
Chapter

155

.

41 Notices

(1) This section applies to a notice given by the OGA under this Chapter.

(2) The notice—

(a) 20may make different provision for different cases, and

(b) may be varied or revoked by a further notice given by the OGA.

(3) The notice, and any variation or revocation, must be published in such manner
as the OGA considers appropriate for bringing it to the attention of the persons
who, in its opinion, are likely to be affected by it.

CHAPTER 5 25Sanctions

Power to give sanction notices

42 Power of OGA to give sanction notices

(1) If the OGA considers that a person has failed to comply with a petroleum-
related requirement imposed on the person, it may give the person a sanction
30notice in respect of that failure.

(2) If the OGA considers that there has a been a failure to comply with a
petroleum-related requirement imposed jointly on two or more persons, it may
give a sanction notice in respect of that failure—

(a) to one only of those persons,

(b) 35jointly to two or more of them, or

(c) jointly to all of them,

but it may not give separate sanction notices to each of them in respect of the
failure.

(3) In this Chapter “petroleum-related requirement” means—

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(a) a duty imposed under section 9C of the Petroleum Act 1998 to act in
accordance with the current strategy or strategies produced under
section 9A(2) of that Act for enabling the principal objective to be met,

(b) a term or condition of an offshore licence, or

(c) 5a requirement imposed on a person by or under a provision of this Act
which, by virtue of the provision, is sanctionable in accordance with
this Chapter.

(4) In this Chapter “sanction notice” means—

(a) an enforcement notice (see section 43),

(b) 10a financial penalty notice (see sections 44 to 46),

(c) a revocation notice (see section 47), or

(d) an operator removal notice (see section 48).

(5) Sanction notices, other than enforcement notices, may be given in respect of a
failure to comply with a petroleum-related requirement even if, at the time the
15notice is given, the failure to comply has already been remedied.

(6) Where the OGA gives a sanction notice to a person in respect of a particular
failure to comply with a petroleum-related requirement—

(a) it may, at the same time, give another type of sanction notice to the
person in respect of that failure to comply;

(b) 20it may give subsequent sanction notices in respect of that failure only in
accordance with section 54 (subsequent sanction notices).

(7) The OGA’s power to give sanction notices under this section is subject to
section 49 (duty of OGA to give sanction warning notices).

Sanction notices

43 25Enforcement notices

(1) This section contains provision about enforcement notices which may be given
under section 42 (failure to comply with a petroleum-related requirement).

(2) An enforcement notice is a notice which—

(a) specifies the petroleum-related requirement in question,

(b) 30gives details of the failure to comply with the requirement,

(c) informs the person or persons to whom the notice is given that the
person or persons must comply with—

(i) the petroleum-related requirement, and

(ii) any directions included in the notice as mentioned in subsection
35(3),

before the end of the period specified in the notice.

(3) The notice may include directions as to the measures to be taken for the
purposes of compliance with the petroleum-related requirement.

(4) Requirements imposed by directions included in an enforcement notice as
40mentioned in subsection (3) are sanctionable in accordance with this Chapter.

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44 Financial penalty notices

(1) This section and sections 45 and 46 contain provision about financial penalty
notices which may be given under section 42 (failure to comply with a
petroleum-related requirement).

(2) 5A financial penalty notice is notice which—

(a) specifies the petroleum-related requirement in question,

(b) gives details of the failure to comply with the requirement,

(c) informs the person or persons to whom the notice is given that the
person or persons must—

(i) 10comply with the petroleum-related requirement before the end
of a period specified in the notice, in a case where it is
appropriate to require such compliance and the failure to
comply with the requirement has not already been remedied at
the time the notice is given, and

(ii) 15pay the OGA a financial penalty of the amount specified in the
notice before the end of a period specified in the notice.

(3) The period specified under subsection (2)(c)(ii) must not end earlier than the
end of the period of 28 days beginning with the day on which the financial
penalty notice was given.

45 20Amount of financial penalty

(1) The financial penalty payable under a financial penalty notice in respect of a
failure to comply with a petroleum-related requirement (whether payable by
one person, or jointly by two or more persons) must not exceed £1 million.

(2) The OGA must—

(a) 25issue guidance as to the matters to which it will have regard when
determining the amount of the financial penalty to be imposed by a
financial penalty notice, and

(b) have regard to the guidance when determining the amount of the
penalty in any particular case.

(3) 30The OGA may from time to time review the guidance and, if it considers
appropriate, revise it.

(4) Before issuing or revising guidance under this section, the OGA must consult
such persons as it considers appropriate.

(5) The OGA must lay any guidance issued under this section, and any revision of
35it, before each House of Parliament.

(6) The OGA must publish any guidance issued under this section, and any
revision of it, in such manner as the OGA considers appropriate.

(7) The Secretary of State may by regulations amend subsection (1) to change the
amount specified to an amount not exceeding £5 million.

46 40Payment of financial penalty

(1) If a financial penalty notice is given jointly to two or more persons, those
persons are jointly and severally liable to pay the financial penalty under it.

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(2) A financial penalty payable under a financial penalty notice is to be recoverable
as a civil debt if it is not paid before the end of the period specified under
section 44(2)(c)(ii).

(3) Money received by the OGA under a financial penalty notice must be paid into
5the Consolidated Fund.

47 Revocation notices

(1) This section contains provision about revocation notices which may be given
under section 42 (failure to comply with a petroleum-related requirement).

(2) A revocation notice may be given only in respect of a failure to comply with a
10petroleum-related requirement imposed on a licensee in that capacity.

(3) Where two or more persons are the licensee in respect of a petroleum licence,
the revocation notice may be given jointly to some or all of those persons.

(4) A revocation notice is a notice which—

(a) specifies the petroleum-related requirement in question,

(b) 15gives details of the failure to comply with the requirement,

(c) informs the person or persons to whom the notice is given that the
petroleum licence held by that person or those persons is to be revoked
in relation to that person, or those persons, on the date specified in the
notice (“the revocation date”).

(5) 20The revocation date must not be earlier than the end of the period of 28 days
beginning with the day on which the revocation notice was given.

(6) A revocation notice may not be given in circumstances where the licence to be
revoked in accordance with the notice is one which, on the date the notice is
given, the OGA would not have the power to grant.

(7) 25Where a licence is revoked in relation to a person in accordance with a
revocation notice—

(a) the rights granted to the person by the licence cease on the revocation
date;

(b) the revocation does not affect any obligation or liability imposed on or
30incurred by the person under the terms and conditions of the licence;

(c) the terms and conditions of the licence apply as if the licence had been
revoked in accordance with those terms and conditions, subject to
section 56(2).

(8) Where two or more persons are the licensee in respect of a petroleum licence
35and a revocation notice is given in relation to some of those persons, but not in
relation to others (the “continuing licence holders”), the OGA must inform the
continuing licence holders that—

(a) the revocation notice has been given, and

(b) the licence will continue to have effect in relation to them following the
40revocation date.

48 Operator removal notices

(1) This section contains provision about operator removal notices which may be
given under section 42 (failure to comply with a petroleum-related
requirement).

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(2) An operator removal notice may be given only in respect of a failure to comply
with a petroleum-related requirement imposed on an operator under a
petroleum licence in that capacity.

(3) An operator removal notice is a notice which—

(a) 5specifies the petroleum-related requirement;

(b) gives details of the failure to comply with the requirement;

(c) informs the operator to whom it is given that, with effect from a date
specified in the notice (“the removal date”), the licensee under whose
licence the operator operates (“the relevant licensee”) is to be required
10to remove the operator (see subsection (5)).

(4) The OGA must—

(a) give a copy of the operator removal notice to the relevant licensee, and

(b) require the relevant licensee to remove the operator with effect from the
removal date.

(5) 15Where a licensee is required to remove an operator from a specified date, the
licensee must ensure that, with effect from that date, the operator does not
exercise any function of organising or supervising any of the operations of
searching for, boring for, or getting petroleum in pursuance of the licensee’s
petroleum licence.

(6) 20The removal date must not be earlier than the end of the period of 28 days
beginning with the day on which the operator removal notice was given.

(7) An operator removal notice may not be given in circumstances where the
licence under which the operator operates is one which, on the date the notice
is given, the OGA would not have the power to grant.

(8) 25A requirement imposed on a licensee under subsection (4)(b) is sanctionable in
accordance with this Chapter.

(9) In this Chapter, “operator under a petroleum licence” has the same meaning as
in Part 1A of the Petroleum Act 1998 (see section 9I of that Act).

Sanction warning notices

49 30Duty of OGA to give sanction warning notices

(1) This section applies where the OGA proposes to give a sanction notice in
respect of a failure to comply with a petroleum-related requirement.

(2) The OGA must give a sanction warning notice in respect of the petroleum-
related requirement to—

(a) 35the person or persons to whom it proposes to give a sanction notice,
and

(b) where it proposes to give an operator removal notice, the relevant
licensee (see section 48(3)(c)).

(3) A sanction warning notice, in respect of a petroleum-related requirement, is a
40notice which—

(a) specifies the petroleum-related requirement,

(b) informs the person or persons to whom it is given that the OGA
proposes to give a sanction notice in respect of a failure to comply with
the requirement,