A total of 25 licences have been awarded to enable further oil and gas exploration and production on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS).
It is part of the Oil and Gas Authority’s (OGA) 29th Licensing Round – the first in two decades focusing solely on frontier, underexplored areas of the Rockall Basin, Mid-North Sea High and part of the East Shetland Platform.
The licences include 111 blocks, awarded to 17 companies.
Andy Samuel, OGA Chief Executive said: “The £20 million investment in new seismic for the Rockall and Mid-North Sea High areas, subsequent release of 40,000 kilometres of new and reprocessed data, combined with the work of the MER UK Exploration Task Force in developing the Innovate Licence, and a stable and competitive fiscal regime has resulted in a number of quality applications in this frontier Licensing Round.
“While exploration activity has undoubtedly suffered as a result of the difficult market conditions, we are now seeing highly encouraging success rates and finding costs on the UKCS.”
Last month the OGA awarded two new contracts to update seismic mapping for oil and gas exploration off the UK coast.