Atmospheric Emissions – Reporting

For information on the impact of Brexit on oil and gas environmental legislation, please refer to the pdf document downloadable from the Home Page.

Key Legislation:

The UK is party to a number of international conventions and EU Directives that require the provision of atmospheric emission inventories, in particular:

  • EC Decision 93/389/EEC for a monitoring mechanism of Community CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions – European Pollutant Emissions Register (EPER).
  • EC Directive 2008/1/EC concerning integrated pollution prevention and control, which consolidates EC Directive 96/61 and its amendments.
  • EC Directive 2003/87/EC establishing a scheme for greenhouse gas emission allowance trading within the Community and amending Council Directive 96/61/EC (EU Emissions Trading Scheme – EU ETS).
  • EC Directive 2016/2284 on the reduction of national emissions of certain atmospheric pollutants, implemented by the National Emission Ceilings Regulations 2018 in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
  • EC Regulation 166/2006 concerning the establishment of a European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (E-PRTR).
  • EU Regulation 842/2018 on binding annual greenhouse gas emission reductions by Member States from 2021 to 2030 contributing to climate action to meet commitments under the Paris Agreement.
  • Geneva Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution 1979 and its protocols.
  • UN-ECE Protocol on Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers (PRTR).
  • United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 1992 (Rio Convention) and its protocols (e.g. Kyoto Protocol).

For more detail on the Legislation relevant to this page, please use the following links:

Supporting Legislation:
European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register

Article 15(3) of the IPPC Directive requires the publication of an EC inventory of principal emissions and their sources. This provides information to the public, and helps authorities to assess the effectiveness of IPPC and identify priority areas.

From 2007 onwards this reporting system has been the European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (E-PRTR) under Council Regulation 166/2006. As a signatory state to the UNECE PRTR Protocol, the UK is also required to establish a national PRTR (UK-PRTR).

The Department for Energy Security and Net Zerocollects emissions data for input to the UK-PRTR and the E-EPTR through the EEMS Reporting System (see below).

The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero already collects emissions data for offshore oil and gas activities via EEMS. As such, it is not a new E-PRTR sector, but the reporting requirements of EEMS in terms of substances and thresholds will need to be extended to meet those of the E-PRTR Regulation. In this context, Oil & Gas UK commissioned an analysis (which has now been completed) to identify emissions of all E-PRTR pollutants that are relevant from an offshore perspective. The Department for Energy Security and Net Zeroand Oil & Gas UK will evaluate the results of this analysis to agree a way forward regarding compliance by the offshore industry with E-PRTR reporting requirements.

In addition, The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero will continue to work closely with Oil & Gas UK on the intention to use the provisions of existing offshore regulations (e.g. the Offshore IPPC Regulations) for the purposes of enforcing the E-PRTR reporting requirements and imposing penalties for non-compliance.

The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero will need to review and adjust accordingly the annual fees charged to operators for the maintenance of the EEMS database, in order to reflect new developments relating to E-PRTR/UK-PRTR reporting.

EEMS Reporting:

The Environmental Emissions Monitoring System (EEMS) was designed to enable the analysis of offshore (including terminals) oil industry environmental data, providing the offshore industry with an independent source of totalled environmental data on which to base its discussions with the government or within the industry itself. The dataset is accessible to both Government (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero) and industry (Oil & Gas UK) and acts as the primary data storage and reporting resource for both the UK Government and the offshore industry.

EEMS provides the vehicle for offshore oil and gas industry emissions to be incorporated into annual UK inventories of atmospheric emissions that are required under a number of international conventions and EU instruments (see above).

The EEMS reporting system now also includes a number of statutory reporting requirements, in particular reporting requirements under the Offshore Combustions Installations (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Regulations 2001 (as amended) (see Power Generation).

EU Emissions Trading Scheme: In addition to atmospheric reporting through the EEMS system there are also other statutory reporting requirements under the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (see EU ETS for further details).
Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme

The Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (Amendment) Regulations 2014

  • These Regulations amend Schedules 1, 2 and 4 to the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme Regulations 2014 to correct drafting errors.
    Section 2.4 has been updated to provide further clarification on vessels supporting the offshore industry;
  • Section 3.3.4 has been updated to introduce an alternative joint venture agreement for compliance of offshore assets;
  • Section 5.3.2. now includes further clarification on independence of lead assessors;
  • Section 7.1 includes amendments to sign-off requirements;
  • Additional compliance checks have been added to Section 9.1;
  • New Notification Questions have been added to Section 11.


  • The Department for Energy Security and Net Zerohave produced an Energy Opportunity Scheme guidance note for the oil and gas industry (available here).
  • Complying with the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme Guidance – This guidance was produced by the Environment Agency and outlines who is eligible for the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme and the necessary procedures and processes pertinent to the scheme. It also outlines different means at which organisations can comply with the scheme. Additional guidance from The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero on the scheme is available here.
  • The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero has also produced a report on the effectiveness of the ESOS scheme (available here).
Consent Needed: A number of consents may be needed for atmospheric emissions, in particular EU ETS, Flaring, Venting and Power Generation. See specific topics for consent requirements. The following applies only to reporting requirements under EEMS.
How to Apply: N/A
Who to Apply to: N/A
When to Apply: N/A
Performance Standards:


Measurements and Calculations:

The methodology involves the application of emission factors to process information which includes:

  • Fuel consumption in process turbines, heaters and engines
  • Flaring and venting volumes
  • Tanker loading volumes
  • Number and type of components (fugitive emission est.)

The EEMS spreadsheets use generic emission factors as developed by Offshore Energies UK. However, platform or vessel specific factors should be used in place of the default factors as per specific PPL and EU ETS consent requirements.

What to Report:

An annual report of all atmospheric emissions from the following must be submitted:

  • Production of oil and gas from offshore reservoirs, including loading operations
  • Onshore terminals engaged in processing/storing/loading
  • Exploration, appraisal and development drilling rigs

Emissions from support vessels, tankers on-route, helicopters and seismic vessels are not included, because these emissions are input by other sectors into the UK National Inventory.

How to Report: Atmospheric emissions data should be reported by completing the EEMSATMO form which can be downloaded from the EEMS Website. The EEMS reporting form includes a number of calculations to assist in emission reporting. Additional guidance on how to complete the form and factors used in the calculations can be obtained from the Guidance Notes, also on the EEMS website.
Who to Report to: Completed reports are to be submitted electronically to the EEMS website.
When to Report: Completed EEMS forms must be submitted by 7 February each year. For wells, the completed EEMS form must be submitted one month after completion of drilling.
The Air Quality Provisional Common Framework This command paper sets out how the UK government and devolved governments propose to work together on policies that aim to reduce harmful emissions and concentrations of air pollutants that can damage human health and the environment. (This includes national emission ceilings and ambient air quality.)
Clean Air Strategy 2019 The Clean Air Strategy 2019 outlines ambitions to reduce overall air pollution and make our air healthier to breath, protect nature and boost the economy.
It highlights the importance of effective co-operation with the devolved administrations and sets out actions already underway in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to cut air pollution right across the UK. It is currently under consultation.
Energy White Paper – Powering Our Net Zero Future This paper details the Government’s plan to reach net zero targets. Chapter 6 of the paper outlines the steps to decarbonising the oil and gas industry and the governmental support for this.
Greenhouse gas reporting – Conversion factors 2018 The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero have released the emission conversion factors required when reporting on 2018 greenhouse gas emissions by UK based organisations of all sizes. Details are available here.
OGA Strategy The OGA published a new strategy document in December 2020. This predominantly outlines the new net zero commitments and strategies for the oil and gas industry.
The Paris Climate Change Agreement gives companies clear incentive to look closely at how they are positioned for a low carbon future. A deal was struck at UN COP 21 negotiations in December whereby nearly 200 companies agreed to keep the global average temperature to “well below 2C above pre-industrial levels” and to “pursue efforts to limit the increase to 1.5C”. The agreement states emissions should be net zero in the in the second half of the century. Businesses were heavily involved at COP21 showcasing initiatives on issues such as carbon reduction, energy efficiency and deforestation.
Updated Energy and Emissions projections: 2019 A report detailing projections of the UK emissions performance against national greenhouse gas targets under existing policies has been released by the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero. It includes projections of the demand for each type of fuel for different sectors of the economy. The report includes projected energy demand for electricity and indicates what mix of generation will meet it (link here).
Transitional National Plan (TNP): quarterly register
The TNP scheme allows large combustion plants (with a thermal rating equal to or greater than 50 megawatts) first licensed before 27 November 2002 to trade their annual allowances for sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and particulate matter (dust) with other large combustion plants within the TNP scheme.