Welsh National Marine Plan (WNMP): Energy – oil and gas
WNMP sector objective
Responsibility for oil and gas licensing, consenting and permitting in the WNMP area is divided between the UK and Welsh Governments and the UK Oil and Gas Authority.
UK Government Sector Objective (for areas subject to UK Government national policy):
Maximising the sustainable recovery of UK oil and gas in order to provide commercial and domestic consumers with a secure, affordable and resilient supply of energy whilst meeting UK decarbonisation goals.
Welsh Government’s policy objective is to avoid the further extraction and consumption of fossil fuels.
What is the energy – oil and gas sector
Oil and gas includes the exploration, development and production of oil and gas resources. This includes:
- shale gas
- coal bed methane, and
- underground coal gasification
by both conventional and unconventional means.
- energy licensing
- energy consenting
- energy permitting
in the WNMP area is divided between:
- UK government
- Welsh Government
- Oil and Gas Authority (OGA).
The WNMP includes the respective oil and gas sector policies. The Wales Act 2017 devolves oil and gas licensing to the Welsh Government for:
- onshore areas
- internal waters (intertidal areas, estuaries and coastal inlet areas).
Beyond these limits the relevant licensing authority is the OGA. Welsh Government’s policy goal is to avoid further extraction of fossil fuels. Proposals outside the Welsh Government licence area that require infrastructure on land will be required to be compatible with the Welsh Government’s decarbonisation approach.
WNMP sector policies
See plan document for the full policy narrative.
O&G_01: oil and gas (supporting)
For areas subject to UK Government national policy:
Proposals that maximise the economic recovery of oil and gas sustainably will be supported where they comply with the objectives of this plan, and fully meet the environmental safeguards contained within the statutory processes of awarding production licences and subsequent activity-specific approvals. Proposals should comply with the relevant general policies and sector safeguarding policies of this plan and any other relevant considerations.
Welsh Government policy is to avoid the continued extraction of fossil fuels in intertidal areas and estuaries and coastal inlet waters that fall within the Welsh onshore licence area. Applications for new petroleum licenses in these areas should not be supported, unless required for mine safety or scientific purposes. Proposals for the development and extraction of oil and gas in these areas with land based elements must provide robust and credible evidence to demonstrate how they conform to the Planning Policy Wales Energy Hierarchy for Planning, including how they make a necessary contribution towards decarbonising the energy system.
O&G_02: oil and gas (supporting)
Proposals that support the long-term development of carbon capture and storage technology will be supported where they contribute to the objectives of this plan. Proposals should comply with the relevant general policies and sector safeguarding policies of this plan and any other relevant considerations.