The three main taxes and levies imposed on companies operating in the oil and gas sector include ring-fence corporation tax and supplementary charge, petroleum revenue tax and license fees. HM Revenue and Customs is the main body responsible for collecting and managing taxes paid to the central government. Responsibility for coal mining-related levies rests with the Coal Authority, aside from in Northern Ireland, where the Department for the Economy Northern Ireland (DFENI) manages levies. For non-fossil minerals, local authorities are responsible for levying and collecting Section 106 payments, for mining planning permission.
Oil and gas licenses are published on the websites of the Oil and Gas Authority website and the Department for the Economy Northern Ireland. Information on coal licenses can be requested from the Coal Authority and the DFENI.
Oil and gas licenses are awarded through competitive tender, although out-of-round applications can be granted in exceptional circumstances. Onshore Northern Ireland, the DFENI holds jurisdiction (but not offshore) and has awarded one oil and gas license through ‘first come first served’. Coal licenses are granted on a ‘first come first served’ basis.
For minerals onshore aside from oil, gas, coal, gold and silver, ownership of subsoil resources is transferred with title deed. Planning and environmental permissions are granted by local authorities. Mineral rights offshore are managed by The Crown Estate and Crown Estate Scotland, with offshore mining licenses awarded on a competitive basis. In Northern Ireland, the only exception, mineral licenses are granted on a ‘first come first served’ basis.