OFFSHORE regulator the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) has outlined 10 priority areas where it will direct its efforts over the next two years to ensure maximum impact in the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS).

Its activity plan highlights the importance of 2016 for the OGA after it became an independent government company with a raft of new powers. It also outlines the “considerable progress” it, the industry and government have made towards maximising economic recovery.

The OGA said its close working with the two had led to a series of sector strategies being developed, the removal of barriers to investment in the UKCS, and a set of stewardship expectations and guidance outlining what it expects from industry and what industry can expect from it.

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It said the OGA had tracked more than 70 success stories across the year, helping to deliver cost savings to the industry and acting as a catalyst to help it deliver.

Chief executive Dr Andy Samuel said its targets were ambitious, but the OGA had “delivered strongly against a constantly evolving industry backdrop”, while establishing the organisation.

Strategies had been published to set direction and create alignment, and new assets stewardship expect-ations had been introduced for oper- ators and licensees. The OGA had also acted to invigorate the sector.

Samuel said: “To help revitalise exploration activity we released almost 40,000km of new seismic data to the industry and implemented the second £20 million government-funded package to acquire a further 20,000km of new seismic data in prospective frontier areas.

“We successfully completed the 14th onshore licensing round and ran the 29th offshore licensing round – the first frontier round since 1997 – attracting 29 applications across 113 blocks. The MER UK Forum and Task Forces continued to be an important focal point for engagement between the industry, government and the OGA, and we continued to promote the sector with UK and international investors.

Samuel added that the new plan would build on the OGA’s previous success.

“Looking forward, this document sets out our plan for 2017 and 2018,” he said. “It retains our ambition, strategic priorities and operating framework de scribed in our corp-orate plan 2016-21, and focuses on our planned activity for the coming 24 months.

“We have assigned clear milestones and targets to each area of activity, together with leading and lagging indicators, so we can measure and communicate our progress effectively.

“The OGA’s work to create a 2035 vision for the UK oil and gas industry indicates that maximising economic recovery, while doubling our share of the global technology and services market, can create £300 billion of additional value for the UK.

“We will continue to work in partnership with the industry, government and other key stakeholders in pursuit of this considerable prize.”