Most commentators believe that Brexit, in isolation, is unlikely to have a material effect on the UK's oil and gas industry, including on UK Continental Shelf activities. This is because the UK Government has always retained control over its energy policy, including the development of oil and gas reserves in the North Sea. Key policy matters such as licensing and taxation of oil and gas exploration, appraisal, development and production activities have always been, and continue to be, determined by the Government, although aspects of the industry have been influenced by the EU. However, other significant changes have been triggered by the referendum and these may have a major impact on the UK's oil and gas and broader energy industry for a number of reasons. There are queries over the existing legal and regulatory regime, uncertainty following the Government’s reorganisation – most significantly for the energy industry, the merger of the Department for Energy and Climate Change with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to create a new Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, headed by former energy minister Greg Clark – and more generally speaking, uncertainty over the value of sterling and future trading arrangements.
Read the full briefing where we examine these questions and more in greater detail.