Altogether 35 companies, ranging from multinationals to microbusinesses, applied.
The 31st Licensing Round, which closed on Wednesday 7th November, offered significant opportunities to acquire acreage across the UKCS’s extensive frontier areas, including the Atlantic Margin, East Shetland Platform, Mid North Sea High, and English Channel, with an aggregate area exceeding 370,000 km2, according to the Oil & Gas Authority (OGA).
“This is an encouraging set of applications, demonstrating that interest in UK offshore licensing opportunities has increased since the 29th frontier round held in 2016, with an almost 50% increase in the number of blocks applied for. The OGA has received applications on some blocks on the East Shetland Platform which have never been previously licenced, underlining the positive impact of ongoing Government-Funded data initiatives,” says Dr Nick Richardson, Head of Exploration and New Ventures at the OGA.
“The recent publication by the OGA of a comprehensive re-evaluation of the UKCS’s Yet-to-Find potential points towards an additional exploration resource base of 4.1 billion barrels of oil equivalent (Bboe) in prospects and leads and 11.2 Bboe in plays, largely in frontier areas, with a bias towards gas-rich opportunities.”
The OGA has a long-term plan to offer regular licensing opportunities to industry with annual rounds, alternating between mature and frontier areas. The next mature licensing round is scheduled to be launched in mid-2019, and will be supported by the UK’s successful flexible licensing regime.