Obligation to provide Licence Data to DECC
Licensees are required to satisfy all requests from DECC for (copies of) Licence Data acquired during the term of the licence (but see special provisions for CDA Members). Although each licensee is strictly responsible under the licence, for practical purposes the Operating licensee assumes the responsibility on behalf of the licence group for ensuring that Licence Data acquired under that License is made available to DECC (or its agents).
The requirements for records and samples to be submitted (or ‘reported’) to DECC (or to CDA) and other regulatory obligations are set out in detail in the latest PON 9.
Right to Object to the Publication of Licence Data by DECC
Licensees may object to the publication (‘release’) of any licence records provided to DECC on the grounds that such information is commercially-sensitive or proprietary.
Obligation to Retain ‘Records’ in Perpetuity
Licensees must retain records in an accurate (useable, accessible and reproducible) form in perpetuity, even where such Licence Data has also been provided to and/or published by DECC. This obligation survives the life of the licence and the licence agreement.
Licence Data Obligations are Joint and Several
The obligations to DECC for licence records are borne jointly and severally by all companies who are party to a licence and not by the operator of that licence alone (although it is accepted practice for the licence operator to act on behalf of all licensees for a licence).
Title in Licence Data
Title in licence records is usually held by licensees and not by DECC.
Obligation to Appoint a ‘PON 9 Coordinator’
Each licence operator is required to appoint a single ‘focal point’ to coordinate PON 9 compliance for that company (the ‘PON 9 Co-ordinator’). The PON 9 Co-ordinator is the first point of contact for DECC for all PON 9 compliance matters, including (but not limited to):
- Compliance with well and seismic survey naming standards;
- Correct well and seismic survey ownership on UKOilandGasData;
- Verification of operated well and seismic survey header information on UKOilandGasData; and
- Future PON9 consultation and review.
Obligation for Data Release
There is no obligation for licensees to release well data – this is the function of DECC and its agents. There is no obligation for licensees to give access to the samples in their custody (other than the obligation to provide samples to BGS at DECC’s request).
Under the Guidelines for the Release of Proprietary Seismic Data agreed with DECC, Oil & Gas UK members have agreed to release certain seismic data themselves.
Guidelines which provide for some discounted terms for the licensing of Speculative Seismic data were also agreed in 2004 between DECC and IAGC.