The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) will have new powers after the Energy Act received royal assent.
The Act creates the framework to formally establish the OGA as an independent regulator, with the aim of driving “greater collaboration and efficiency in the industry”.
It gives the OGA new regulatory powers in the oil and gas sector, though environmental regulatory functions will remain with the secretary of state.
Onshore wind farm planning decisions will be made locally, removing the need for consent from the secretary of state, but the Act brings forward the closure of subsidies for onshore wind schemes.
Andy Samuel, chief executive of the OGA said: “This is an important step in establishing the OGA as an independent government company with the necessary powers, working closely with the industry and government to help maximise the economic recovery of the UK’s oil and gas resources.”
Secretary of state for energy and climate change Amber Rudd said: “The Energy Act is a vital part of our plan to ensure our families and businesses have access to secure, affordable and clean energy supplies they can rely on, while keeping bills down.
“By strengthening the Oil and Gas Authority and giving it powers to drive greater collaboration and efficiency in the industry, this Act shows that the broad shoulders of the UK are committed to helping our oil and gas industry attract investment, support jobs and remain competitive for the future.”