Energy Act 2008

Document Number:2008 CHAPTER 32
 
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An Act to make provision relating to gas importation and storage; to make provision in relation to electricity generated from renewable sources; to make provision relating to electricity transmission; to make provision about payments to small-scale generators of low-carbon electricity; to make provision about the decommissioning of energy installations and wells; to make provision about the management and disposal of waste produced during the operation of nuclear installations; to make provision relating to petroleum licences; to make provision about third party access to oil and gas infrastructure and modifications of pipelines; to make provision about reports relating to energy matters; to make provision about the duties of the Gas and Electricity Markets Authority; to make provision about payments in respect of the renewable generation of heat; to make provision relating to gas meters and electricity meters and provision relating to electricity safety; to make provision about the security of equipment, software and information relating to nuclear matters; and for connected purposes.

[26 th November 2008]

Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

Part 1 Gas Importation and Storage

Chapter 1 Gas Importation and Storage Zones

1 Exploitation of areas outside the territorial sea for gas importation and storage

(1) The rights to which this section applies have effect, by virtue of this section, as rights belonging to Her Majesty.

(2) This section applies to the rights under Part V of the Convention that are exercisable by the United Kingdom in areas outside the territorial sea—

(a) with respect to any of the matters mentioned in subsection (3) , or

(b) for any other purposes connected with any of those matters.

(3) The matters are—

(a) the exploitation of those areas for the unloading of gas to installations or pipelines;

(b) the exploitation of those areas for the storing of gas (whether or not with a view to its being recovered) , or the recovery of gas so stored;

(c) the exploration of those areas with a view to their exploitation as mentioned in paragraph (a) or (b).

(4) For the purposes of subsection (3) , references to gas include any substance which consists wholly or mainly of gas.

(5) Her Majesty may by Order in Council designate an area as an area within which the rights to which this section applies are exercisable (a “Gas Importation and Storage Zone”).

(6) In this section—

“the Convention” means the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 (Cmnd 8941) and any modifications of that Convention agreed after the passing of this Act that have entered into force in relation to the United Kingdom;

“gas” means any substance which is gaseous at a temperature of 15°C and a pressure of 101.325 kPa (1013.25 mb);

“installation” includes any floating structure or device maintained on a station by whatever means.

Chapter 2 Importation and storage of combustible gas

Activities requiring a licence

2 Prohibition on unlicensed activities

(1) No person may carry on an activity within subsection (3) except in accordance with a licence.

(2) But subsection (1) is subject to section 3.

(3) The activities are—

(a) the use of a controlled place for the unloading of gas to an installation or pipeline;

(b) the use of a controlled place for the storage of gas;

(c) the conversion of any natural feature in a controlled place for the purpose of storing gas;

(d) the recovery of gas stored in a controlled place;

(e) the exploration of a controlled place with a view to, or in connection with, the carrying on of activities within paragraphs (a) to (d);

(f) the establishment or maintenance in a controlled place of an installation for the purposes of activities within this subsection.

(4) In this section—

“controlled place” means a place in, under or over—

the territorial sea, or

waters in a Gas Importation and Storage Zone (within the meaning of section 1(5));

“gas” means any combustible substance which is gaseous at a temperature of 15°C and a pressure of 101.325 kPa (1013.25 mb) and which consists wholly or mainly of—

methane,

ethane,

propane,

butane,

a substance designated for the purposes of this section by an order made by the Secretary of State, or

a mixture of two or more of the substances mentioned in paragraphs (a) to (e).

3 Exception for activities carried on partly on land etc

(1) This Chapter does not apply in relation to—

(a) the use of a controlled place for the unloading of gas to an installation which is connected with land by a permanent structure providing access at all times and for all purposes;

(b) the conversion of a natural feature of which part is in a controlled place and part under land, if the operations necessary for the conversion take place wholly or mainly on, over or under land;

(c) the use of a place for the storage of gas, or the recovery of gas so stored, where—

(i) the gas was, or is to be, introduced into the store by means of a well on land, and

(ii) part of the place is a controlled place and part is under land;

(d) the establishment or maintenance of an installation for the purposes of activities falling within paragraph (a).

(2) In this section—

“land” means—

land in England;

land in Wales;

land in Scotland landward of the low water mark;

“well” includes a borehole.

Licensing

4 Licences

(1) The Secretary of State may grant a person a licence in respect of one or more activities within section 2(3).

(2) The controlled place in respect of which a licence is granted may be determined by reference to the provisions of a Crown lease which has been or may be granted.

(3) For this purpose “Crown lease” means a lease of property forming part of the Crown Estate, or an authorisation to exercise rights forming part of that Estate (whether by virtue of section 1 or otherwise).

5 Applications

The Secretary of State may by regulations—

(a) prescribe the persons, or classes of persons, by whom an application for a licence may be made;

(b) prescribe requirements which must be met by, or in relation to, a person who makes an application;

(c) prescribe the manner in which an application must be made;

(d) prescribe the information which an application must contain and any documents which must accompany it;

(e) require an application to be accompanied by a fee of an amount prescribed by, or determined in accordance with, the regulations.

6 Terms and conditions

(1) A licence may be granted on such terms and subject to such conditions as the Secretary of State considers appropriate.

(2) The provisions of a licence may be expressed by reference to provision made in a Crown lease, and, in particular, may provide—

(a) for the commencement of the licence to be conditional upon the commencement of a Crown lease which has been or may be granted in respect of the controlled place to which the licence relates or any part of that place;

(b) for the period of the licence to be determined by reference to the period of such a Crown lease.

(3) A licence may authorise, in such circumstances and subject to such conditions as are specified, the transfer of the licence to another person (or the inclusion of another person as a joint licence holder).

(4) The provisions of a licence may include—

(a) provision requiring the licence holder to obtain the prior written consent of the Secretary of State or another person for specified acts or omissions;

(b) provision providing that any such consent may be given subject to conditions.

(5) The conditions imposed on a consent by virtue of subsection (4)(b) may include conditions requiring, or otherwise providing for, the modification of the licence in such manner as the Secretary of State considers appropriate.

(6) In this section—

“Crown lease” has the same meaning as in section 4;

“specified”, in relation to a licence, means specified in, or determined in accordance with, the licence.

7 Model clauses

(1) The Secretary of State may make regulations prescribing model clauses for licences.

(2) Subject to subsection (3) , the model clauses, as they have effect at the time a licence is granted, are deemed to be incorporated into the licence.

(3) The Secretary of State may decide to exclude or modify one or more of those model clauses in the case of a particular licence.

Enforcement

8 Offence to carry on unlicensed activities

(1) It is an offence for a person to carry on an activity within section 2(3) at a controlled place unless, at the time the activity is carried on, that person—

(a) has a licence for the carrying on of that activity at that place, or

(b) is carrying on the activity on behalf of a person who has such a licence.

(2) It is an offence for a person to cause or permit another person to commit an offence under subsection (1).

(3) But subsections (1) and (2) are subject to section 3.

(4) A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable—

(a) on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum, or

(b) on conviction on indictment, to a fine.

9 Offences relating to licences

(1) An offence is committed by a licence holder if—

(a) a thing is done for which the licence specifies that the prior consent of the Secretary of State or any other person is required, without that consent first having been obtained;

(b) such a thing is done in circumstances where that consent was obtained subject to conditions and those conditions have not been satisfied;

(c) the licence holder fails to keep records, give a notice or make a return or report, in accordance with the provisions of the licence;

(d) the licence holder breaches any other provision of the licence which is specified, or of a description specified, in an order made by the Secretary of State.

(2) In proceedings against a person for an offence under subsection (1) , it is a defence for the person to prove that...

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