The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) has received 29 applications for its UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) Frontier Licensing Round.
They come from 24 companies, covering a total of 113 blocks and proposing programmes including well commitments.
The 29th Frontier Licensing Round is the first of its kind in two decades to focus on frontier areas.
The areas on offer included the East Shetland Platform and the Rockall Trough and Mid-North Sea High areas which were the focus of the 2015 UK Government funded seismic acquisition programme.
Andy Samuel, Chief Executive of the OGA said: “Despite the difficult climate, industry has responded strongly to our offer, using analysis and insights to identify new prospects and submit high quality applications on blocks that did not attract interest in recent licensing rounds. This confirms the high remaining potential in the UKCS’ frontier areas.
“Licences awarded will provide continued opportunities for our world-class service sector to develop technology and expertise and ultimately, should provide new energy supplies to the UK.”
The OGA also said the upcoming 30th Offshore Licensing Round will cover mature areas of the UKCS and will offer significant opportunities, including some blocks not available since the 3rd Licensing Round.