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Wheel and pipe of oil well

DECC consults with other government departments and non-governmental bodies on proposed wells. Each application to drill (PON 4) is considered with respect to the fulfilment of specific licence obligations and impact on the environment and other users of the sea. Drilling and petroleum developments offshore are subject to the requirements of the Offshore Petroleum Production and Pipe-lines (Assessment of Environmental Effects) Regulations 1999, which implement the EU Environmental Impact Assessment Directive (PON 15 and PON 16).


Individual well data

Use the Well Data Search Tool to find basic well header data by quadrant and block (please note that this data is derived directly from WONS and may be subject to later alteration and update).

Approval process

Since November 2000 a new web-based well consent system (WONS - available through the Oil Portal) should be used (unless otherwise instructed by DECC) by operators applying electronically for consent to drilling operations (replacing PON 4, PON 5 and PON 8). This has simplified the procedure for well consents by reducing the need for multiple applications and consents, and also provides a fast and secure method for transmitting information. Applications to drill should be submitted at least 28 days in advance. Contact Phil Harrison at for details and instructions for company registration.

A full environmental statement may be required for wells determined as likely to have significant effect on the environment by virtue of their nature, size or location.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) requires a 21-day notification period for well applications. The Offshore Installations and Wells (Design and Construction, etc.) Regulations 1996 are applicable to these activities

Data requirements

Data collection starts once a well has been spudded when the operator submits a spud notification on WONS. DECC will issue an official well number via WONS (see PON 12), which is to be used for all data and records resulting from the well's drilling. All well data requirements are set out in PON 9 (offshore) and PON9b (onshore).
Onshore operators have a statutory obligation to also supply well data to the British Geological Survey (BGS). Visit the BGS website for more information



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