This is an HTML version of an attachment to the Freedom of Information request 'Refusal of time extensions to 14th round licences'.

 
 
21 Bloomsbury 
Street 
London WC1B 
3HF 
Ruth Hayhurst   
 
By email to:    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx.xxx 
        
 
 
Our ref: FOI-2020-0029 
 
 
15 July 2020  
 
 
Dear Ms Hayhurst, 
 
Thank you for your email of 19 May, in which you requested:  
 
“This is a fol ow-up to my request 
https://gbr01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.whatdotheyknow.com%2Frequest%2Fextension_to_initial_ter
m_of_14t%23outgoing-
1024619&data=02%7C01%7Cfoirequests%40ogauthority.co.uk%7C2b9e75b29f5a47577cf208d7fbd38180%7Ce681c59d868e488780f
ace36f1f21b0f%7C0%7C0%7C637254758140601211&sdata=C0oGxssKxBsLqGce%2B8zd2CfEbmWLOTY6y2UoBNL6Ydc%3D&rese
rved=0 to which you responded on 13 May 2020. 
Please identify any 14th round licences where the OGA refused requests by operators for a time extension beyond that agreed when the 
licence was issued. 
Please also list any time extensions granted since the information the OGA provided on 13 May 2020..” 
 
We have considered your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 
(FOIA) and, where relevant, the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR).  
 
The OGA has refused requests for extensions on 12 PEDLs.  
 
The OGA has not granted any extensions on PEDLs since 13 May 2020. 
 
The OGA is withholding, the information regarding the identity of those licenses 
under Section 43(2) FOIA and Regulation 12(5)(e) EIR. 
 
Section 43 FOIA and Regulation 12(5)(e) EIR (Commercial Interests) 
 
Section 43(2) FOIA provides that information is exempt from disclosure if disclosure 
would, or would be likely to, prejudice the commercial interests of any person 
(including the public authority holding it). Regulation 12(5)(e) of the EIRs provides 
that a public authority may refuse to disclose information to the extent the 
 
Oil and Gas Authority is a limited company registered in England and Wales with registered number 09666504 and VAT registered number 249433979. Our registered 
office is at 21 Bloomsbury Street, London, United Kingdom, WC1B 3HF.  For information about how we process data and monitor communications please see our Privacy 
Statement and for terms of use please see our Terms and Conditions, both available on our website. 
 

 
confidentiality of commercial or industrial information where such confidentiality is 
provided by law to protect the legitimate economic interest. 
 
Disclosure of any companies whom have been unsuccessful in their application to 
have their initial term extended would, or would be likely to, lead to speculation as to 
the financial viability of each of the companies. In addition, disclosure of the withheld 
information would, or would be likely to, call into question the companies’ ability to 
meet their licence and other commitments, undermining their respective commercial 
positions. Speculation as to the financial viability and ability to meet licence 
commitments could lead to a decrease in those companies share price, at least in 
the short term, leading to a sharp correction later. It could also lead to third parties 
deferring the provision of goods or services necessary for operations or changing the 
terms on which the good or services are offered.  
 
Further, disclosure of the requested information may undermine those companies’ 
ability to obtain credit, making obtaining credit more expensive and difficult. All of this 
would affect these companies’ ability to operate in a highly competitive environment. 
 
Finally, disclosure would be likely to impair the efforts of some of the companies 
concerned to build investor confidence and assemble the consortium of interest 
required to deliver the potential of this petroleum resource as a fuel and longer term 
as a feedstock for the local manufacture of hydrogen for local industry when 
conditions allow. 
 
 
Public Interest 
 
In withholding the requested information, the OGA has considered whether the 
public interest in withholding the information is outweighed by the public interest in 
disclosing the requested information. 
 
The OGA acknowledges that disclosure of the requested information can lead to 
greater transparency and enhanced scrutiny of public authorities. However, the need 
and desire for greater transparency must be balanced against the need to protect the 
commercial interests of the companies and the OGA’s objective of having an 
effective system of regulation and energy supply. The OGA considers that disclosure 
would likely impact negatively on the ability of the UK to attract investment in 
hydrocarbon exploration as companies would, or would or would be likely to, have 
concerns about commercially sensitive or otherwise confidential information from 
their discussions with the OGA being disclosed. The OGA also considers that 
disclosure would or would be likely to affect the stable system of onshore regulation. 
 
This concludes the OGA’s handling of your request. 
 
Appeals Procedure 
 

 
Oil and Gas Authority is a limited company registered in England and Wales with registered number 09666504 and VAT registered number 249433979. Our registered 
office is at 21 Bloomsbury Street, London, United Kingdom, WC1B 3HF.  For information about how we process data and monitor communications please see our Privacy 
Statement and for terms of use please see our Terms and Conditions, both available on our website. 
 

 
If you are unhappy with the way the OGA has handled your request, you may 
request an internal review. A request for an internal review should be made within 40 
working days of the date of receipt of the response to your request and should be 
addressed to: FOI Manager, Oil and Gas Authority, 21 Bloomsbury Street, London, 
WC1B 3HF Email: xxxxxxxxxxx@xxxxxxxxxxx.xx.xx  
 
Please quote the reference number above in any future communications with regard 
to this request.  
 
If you are unhappy with the outcome of the internal review, you may contact the 
Information Commissioner at www.ico.org.uk or at Information Commissioner’s 
Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.  
 
Yours sincerely 
 
FOI Officer. 
 
Oil and Gas Authority is a limited company registered in England and Wales with registered number 09666504 and VAT registered number 249433979. Our registered 
office is at 21 Bloomsbury Street, London, United Kingdom, WC1B 3HF.  For information about how we process data and monitor communications please see our Privacy 
Statement and for terms of use please see our Terms and Conditions, both available on our website.