Data Transfer

Transfer of Obligations for Licence Data

Under certain circumstances, and in some cases at the discretion of OGA, licensees may either be relieved of or transfer their obligations with respect to Licence Data.  Such circumstances include:

National Hydrocarbons Data Archive

The BGS and OGA have recently re-examined the current arrangements for archiving sub-surface information and the status of the NHDA. This discussion was prompted by the OGA’s evolving requirements, the anticipated changes that will be brought about as a consequence of the Energy Act, resource challenges as well as the increased demand due to recent increased COP and decommissioning activities.

As a result, the OGA and the BGS have agreed to terminate the current NHDA arrangement for the archiving of subsurface information.

Please refer to appendix F in PON9 for more information.


A licensee is required to retain for a minimum period of 5 years well cores and cuttings, portions of sea bed samples and/or cores from boreholes penetrating below the sea bed. However at any time after 5 years, licensees may give OGA 6 months’ notice in writing of their intent to dispose of samples.  At any time during this notice period, OGA may request the licensees to submit the samples to OGA (or another nominated agent of OGA). If no such request is received by the licensees within the 6 month period then the licensees are free to dispose of the samples.

Specifically for oil samples taken in an exploration well, licensees may give OGA six-months’ notice in writing of their intent to dispose of the oil samples at any time after completion of their analyses.  At any time during this 6 month period, OGA may request the licensee to submit a one litre sample to OGA (or a nominated agent of OGA).  If no such request is received within the 6 month period then the licensee is free to dispose of the samples. There is no requirement for licensees to retain gas samples once analyses are complete.

Effect of Relinquishment on Responsibility for Licence Records

Licensees’ obligations with respect to the retention and provision of Licence Records survive licence relinquishment and remain, jointly and severally, with all individual members of a licence group except where otherwise explicitly agreed in writing by OGA.

Effect of Licence Assignment on Licence Data Rights and Obligations

A Licence Assignment implies assignment of the rights and obligations attached to the Licence Data associated with the licence in question.  However, in the event of default by the new licensee, OGA retains certain rights to look to the previous licensee to satisfy the obligations in default.

The title in Licence Data previously enjoyed by the outgoing licensee (where they can be established) is passed to the incoming licensee. Oil & Gas UK has produced draft guidelines for the transfer of Licence Data in Licence Assignments.

22 Sep 2015