The North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) has announced it has received 115 applications for drilling licences.
These applications were received during the UK’s 33rd offshore oil and gas licensing round and came from a total of 76 companies, the NSTA has confirmed.
The process, which launched on 7th October, included four priority areas that could see production begin in as little as 18 months,
Energy and Climate Minister Graham Stuart said: “Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine has led to volatile global energy markets.
“It’s fantastic to see such interest from industry in this round, with the awarded licences set to play an important role in boosting domestic energy production and securing the UK’s long-term energy security of supply.”
In response to the news, Philip Evans, Climate Campaigner for Greenpeace UK, said: “These new licences will make Britain’s homes and businesses more reliant on the volatile gas market, marking further energy crises more likely and going nothing to reduce bills.
“And then there’s the fact that the world has agreed to move away from fossil fuels as quickly as possible to maximise our chances of getting climate change under control and the government’s failure to consider the full carbon cost of new drilling makes the entire process unlawful, which is why we are taking them to court.”