Energy Bill (HL Bill 62)

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OGA in relation to what time should be specified in regulations under section
31(8).

(4) In determining the time to be specified in respect of protected material in
regulations under section 31(8), the Secretary of State must have regard to the
5following factors—

(a) whether the specified time will allow owners of protected material a
reasonable period of time to satisfy the main purpose for which they
acquired or created the material;

(b) any potential benefits to the petroleum industry of protected material
10being published or made available at the specified time;

(c) any potential risk that the specified time may discourage persons from
acquiring or creating petroleum-related information or petroleum-
related samples;

(d) any other factors the Secretary of State considers relevant.

(5) 15In balancing the factors mentioned in subsection (4)(a) to (d), the Secretary of
State must take into account the principal objective.

(6) For the purposes of subsection (4)(a), the owner of protected material is the
person by whom, or on whose behalf, the protected material was provided to
the OGA under this Chapter.

20Coordinators

33 Information and samples coordinators

(1) A relevant person must—

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

(b) 25notify 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) 30the 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
35period of the change taking place.

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

Appeals

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

(1) 40This 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.

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

(a) on 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
5table.

(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 30(1).
The length of time given to
10comply 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
15such directions (if any) as the Tribunal considers appropriate, or

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

CHAPTER 4 Meetings

35 Meetings: interpretation

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

(a) 20two 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
25that 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,

30but 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
35relevant 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.

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36 Duty to inform the OGA of meetings

(1) This section applies where a relevant person, or an employee of or person
acting 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
5relevant meeting.

(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) 10The 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
15with 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) 20The 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) 25That 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) 30Subsection (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) 35The requirements imposed by this section are sanctionable in accordance with
Chapter 5.

37 Participation by the OGA in meetings

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

(2) 40But such a person is not entitled—

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

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

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(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
5Chapter 5.

38 Provision of information to the OGA after meetings

(1) This section applies where the right conferred by section 37(1) (right of person
authorised by the OGA to participate) is not exercised in relation to a relevant
meeting.

(2) 10The 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
15period 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 5.

39 20Meetings: disclosure

The OGA may disclose any information obtained by it under this Chapter only
if—

(a) the person by whom the information was provided consents to the
disclosure,

(b) 25the disclosure is required by virtue of an obligation imposed on the
OGA by or under any Act, or

(c) the disclosure is made in the exercise of the OGA’s power under section
52 (publication of details of sanctions).

40 Notices

(1) 30This section applies to a notice given by the OGA under this Chapter.

(2) The notice—

(a) may 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
35as the OGA considers appropriate for bringing it to the attention of the persons
who, in its opinion, are likely to be affected by it.

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CHAPTER 5 Sanctions

Power to give sanction notices

41 Power of OGA to give sanction notices

(1) If the OGA considers that a person has failed to comply with a petroleum-
5related requirement imposed on the person, it may give the person a sanction
notice 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) 10to one only of those persons,

(b) jointly 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) 15In this Chapter “petroleum-related requirement” means—

(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) 20a 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 42),

(b) 25a financial penalty notice (see sections 43 to 45),

(c) a revocation notice (see section 46), or

(d) an operator removal notice (see section 47).

(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
30notice 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) 35it may give subsequent sanction notices in respect of that failure only in
accordance with section 53 (subsequent sanction notices).

(7) The OGA’s power to give sanction notices under this section is subject to
section 48 (duty of OGA to give sanction warning notices).

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Sanction notices

42 Enforcement notices

(1) This section contains provision about enforcement notices which may be given
under section 41 (failure to comply with a petroleum-related requirement).

(2) 5An enforcement notice is a 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 comply with—

(i) 10the petroleum-related requirement, and

(ii) any directions included in the notice as mentioned in subsection
(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
15purposes of compliance with the petroleum-related requirement.

(4) Directions included in an enforcement notice as mentioned in subsection (3)
are sanctionable in accordance with this Chapter.

43 Financial penalty notices

(1) This section and sections 44 and 45 contain provision about financial penalty
20notices which may be given under section 41 (failure to comply with a
petroleum-related requirement).

(2) A 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) 25informs the person or persons to whom the notice is given that the
person or persons must—

(i) comply with the petroleum-related requirement before the end
of a period specified in the notice (if the failure to comply with
the requirement has not already been remedied at the time the
30notice is given), and

(ii) pay 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
period within which an appeal may be brought in relation to the financial
35penalty notice (see section 49(2)).

44 Amount 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) 40The OGA must—

(a) issue 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

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

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

(4) 5Before 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
it, before each House of Parliament.

(6) The OGA must publish any guidance issued under this section, and any
10revision 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.

45 Payment of financial penalty

(1) If a financial penalty notice is given jointly to two or more persons, those
15persons are jointly and severally liable to pay the financial penalty under it.

(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 43(2)(c)(ii).

(3) Money received by the OGA under a financial penalty notice must be paid into
20the Consolidated Fund.

46 Revocation notices

(1) This section contains provision about revocation notices which may be given
under section 41 (failure to comply with a petroleum-related requirement).

(2) A revocation notice may be given only to a licensee.

(3) 25Where 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) gives details of the failure to comply with the requirement,

(c) 30informs 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) The revocation date must not be earlier than the end of the period within which
35an appeal may be brought in relation to the revocation notice (see section
49(2)).

(6) Where a licence is revoked in relation to a person in accordance with a
revocation notice, the rights granted to the person by the licence cease on the
revocation date.

(7) 40The cessation of rights mentioned in subsection (6) does not affect any
obligation or liability incurred by or imposed on the person under the terms
and conditions of the licence.

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(8) Where two or more persons are the licensee in respect of a petroleum licence
and 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) 5the revocation notice has been given, and

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

47 Operator removal notices

(1) This section contains provision about operator removal notices which may be
10given under section 41 (failure to comply with a petroleum-related
requirement).

(2) An operator removal notice may be given only to an operator under a
petroleum licence.

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

(a) 15specifies 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
20to 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) 25Where 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) 30The removal date must not be earlier than the end of the period within which
an appeal may be brought in relation to the operator removal notice (see
section 49(2)).

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

(8) 35In 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

48 Duty of OGA to give sanction warning notices

(1) This section applies where the OGA proposes to give a sanction notice in
40respect 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—

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(a) the 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 47(3)(c)).

(3) 5A sanction warning notice, in respect of a petroleum-related requirement, is a
notice 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
10the requirement,

(c) gives details of the failure to comply with the petroleum-related
requirement,

(d) informs the person or persons to whom it is given that the person or
persons may, within the period specified in the notice (“the
15representations period”), make representations to the OGA in relation
to the matters dealt with in the notice.

(4) The representations period is to be such period as the OGA considers
appropriate in the circumstances.

(5) Subsections (6) and (7) apply where the OGA gives a sanction warning notice
20to a person or persons in respect of a petroleum-related requirement.

(6) The OGA must not give a sanction notice to the person or persons in respect of
a failure to comply with the requirement until after the end of the
representations period specified in the sanction warning notice.

(7) Having regard to representations made during the representations period
25specified in the sanction warning notice, the OGA may decide—

(a) to give the person or persons a sanction notice in respect of the failure
to comply with the requirement detailed in the sanction warning notice
under subsection (3)(c),

(b) to give the person or persons a sanction notice in respect of a failure to
30comply with the requirement which differs from the failure detailed in
the sanction warning notice under subsection (3)(c), or

(c) not to give the person or persons a sanction notice in respect of a failure
to comply with the requirement.

Appeals

49 35Appeals in relation to sanction notices

(1) Where a sanction notice is given under this Chapter in respect of a failure to
comply with a petroleum-related requirement, an appeal may be made—

(a) under section 50 (on the grounds that there was no such failure to
comply);

(b) 40under section 51 (against the sanction imposed by the notice).

(2) An appeal in relation to a sanction notice must be made before the end of the
period of 28 days beginning with the day on which the notice was given.

(3) Where an appeal is made in relation to a sanction notice, the notice ceases to
have effect until a decision is made by the Tribunal in respect of the appeal.

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50 Appeals against finding of failure to comply

(1) This section applies where a sanction notice is given in respect of a failure to
comply with a petroleum-related requirement.

(2) An appeal may be made to the Tribunal by the person, or by any of the persons,
5to whom the notice was given, on the grounds that the person, or persons, did
not fail to comply with a petroleum-related requirement.

(3) On an appeal under this section, the Tribunal may confirm or cancel the
sanction notice.

(4) Where sanction notices are given on more than one occasion in respect of the
10same failure to comply with a petroleum-related requirement—

(a) an appeal under this section may be made only in relation to the
sanction notice, or any of the sanction notices, given on the first of those
occasions, and

(b) appeals in relation to sanction notices given on subsequent occasions in
15respect of that failure to comply may be made only under section 51
(appeals against sanction imposed).

51 Appeals against sanction imposed

(1) This section applies where a sanction notice is given in respect of a failure to
comply with a petroleum-related requirement.

(2) 20An appeal may be made to the Tribunal—

(a) by the person, or by any of the persons, to whom the notice was given,
and

(b) in the case of an operator removal notice under section 47, by the
licensee under whose licence the operator operates,

25against any of the decisions of the OGA mentioned in subsection (3) (as to the
sanction imposed by the notice) on the grounds mentioned in subsection (4).

(3) Those decisions are—

(a) in a case where an enforcement notice has been given, the decision as
to—

(i) 30the measures that are required to be taken for the purposes of
compliance with the petroleum-related requirement, or

(ii) the period for compliance with the petroleum-related
requirement;

(b) in a case where a financial penalty notice has been given, the decision—

(i) 35to impose a financial penalty, or

(ii) as to the amount of the financial penalty imposed;

(c) in a case where a revocation of licence notice has been given, the
decision to revoke the licence, whether in relation to some or all of the
persons to whom it was granted;

(d) 40in a case where an operator removal notice has been given, the decision
to require the removal of the operator.

(4) The grounds are that the decision of the OGA—

(a) was unreasonable, or

(b) was not within the powers of the OGA.