The United Kingdom’s extractive industries include oil and gas, mining and quarrying. The sector has made a sizeable contribution to the UK economy for many years and remains an important sector, particularly oil and gas production. Construction minerals (principally crushed rock, sand and gravel aggregates) represent the largest materials flow.
The UK was a prime mover behind the establishment of the EITI and became an implementing country in 2014 to show leadership in the global anti-corruption agenda. The UK has been using the EITI platform to bring together data from a wide range of sources in an accessible format, with a view to strengthen public understanding of the extractive industries. UK EITI reporting helps to identify the contribution that the sector makes to the economic and social development of the country.
Economic contribution of the extractive industries
- to exports
- to GDP
- to total government revenues
- to employment
- The UK has a strong record on data timeliness. UK EITI publishes its payments reports within six to seven months after the end of a financial year.
- In May 2020, UK EITI launched a new website that allows information and data to be updated as soon as it is available. The website is a platform for publication of news stories, data and policy developments relevant to the UK oil, gas and mining sectors.
- In 2018, UK EITI produced a feasibility study to explore opportunities for disclosing EITI data at source through government and company systems.
- EITI conducted a mapping exercise of government and other initiatives relevant to the energy transition with a view to support national debate. It is considering gaps and opportunities for EITI to add value to this area, and the UK EITI website provides related updates and resources.
The UK’s oil and sector is mainly governed by the Petroleum Act and the Petroleum (Production) Act (Northern Ireland) and is regulated by the Oil & Gas Authority. The fiscal regime that applies to oil and gas extractive activities includes three separate taxes: Petroleum Revenue Tax, Ring Fence Corporation Tax and the Supplementary Charge. The UK tax authority, HMRC, produced an Oil Taxation Manual with an overview of the law and practice for the oil fiscal regime.
The UK does not have a single mining law or code, and the extraction of minerals is subject to the UK’s mineral planning process. Mining activities are administered by a local authority body designated the mineral Planning Authority (MPA). Mining and quarrying companies pay corporation tax (CT) on their profits at the standard rate. Profits from upstream and downstream activities are not separated, and companies pay a single amount of CT on profits. Capital allowances are a feature of business taxation in the UK and apply to CT and income tax. The main allowance which is commonly relevant for companies carrying on mining and quarrying activities is Mineral Extraction Allowance (MEA).
The North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) regulates the licensing of exploration and development of the UK’s offshore and onshore oil and gas resources, carbon storage, gas storage and unloading activities. The NSTA has discretion in the granting of licenses to help ensure the economic recovery of the UK’s oil and gas resources, while supporting the drive to net zero carbon by 2050. The NSTA publishes current oil and gas licenses under their Petroleum e-business assignments and relinquishment system (PEARS).
As mineral rights are vest in landowners rather than the state (apart from oil, gas, coal, gold and silver), there is no single, national licensing system for the exploration and extraction of minerals.
A range of government bodies and agencies grant licenses and contracts that govern the exploration and exploitation of oil, gas and minerals, which are listed on the UK EITI website.
The Public Contracts Regulations 2015 create a legal requirement for all advertised public sector procurement opportunities and contract awards above certain thresholds to be published on Contracts Finder.
Companies registered in the UK are required to submit information on their beneficial owners in accordance with the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015. This data is available via the people with significant control (PSC) register, which was established in June 2016 and is part of the Companies House register. The register includes beneficial ownership data for individuals who hold more than 25% of shares or voting rights in a company.
In September 2021, the UK joined the Beneficial Ownership Leadership Group and signed up to the best practice beneficial ownership disclosure principles. In March 2022, the UK government approved the Beneficial Ownership Data Standard for the collection, use and distribution of beneficial ownership data.
The UK government publishes full details of its income and expenditures (outturn figures, estimates and forecasts). Budget forecasting is overseen by the independent Office for Budget Responsibility. Government accounts are audited by the National Audit Office and scrutinised by the Public Accounts Committee.
With very few exceptions, central government receipts are not earmarked for specific items or types of expenditure. However, as stipulated by Miscellaneous Financial Provisions Act 1968, the Northern Ireland government is entitled to £1.7 million of extractive revenue shares for the 2020-2021 fiscal year.
All revenues from extractive operations in Scotland go to the Scottish Consolidated Fund, and it is the responsibility of Scottish Ministers to decide how this is used.
Learn more about revenue allocations on the UK EITI website.
UK EITI is administered by the UK Multi-Stakeholder Group (MSG). The MSG is hosted by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and is chaired by Matthew Ray, Deputy Director of Company Law and Transparency at BEIS. It is comprised of representatives from government, industry and civil society.
Government announces commitment to join the EITI
Multi-stakeholder group is formed
Candidature application is submitted
United Kingdom joined
2014 EITI Report published
2015 EITI Report published
2017 EITI Report published
Validation (Meaningful progress)
2018 EITI Report published
2020 Annual Report published
United Kingdom status
2021 EITI Payments Report published
2022 EITI Payments Report published
The United Kingdom achieved a high overall score (90 points) in implementing the EITI Standard in October 2021. The next Validation is expected to begin in October 2024.