OGA today opens more than 800 oil and exploration blocks for bids in 30th North Sea licensing round

The Oil and Gas Authority today opens the 30th Offshore Licensing Round with 813 blocks or part blocks on offer in mature areas of the North Sea totalling an area of 114,426 km2 (28,275,280 acres).

Blocks are on offer in the Southern, Central and Northern North Sea, the West of Shetland and East Irish Sea and include a large inventory of prospects and undeveloped discoveries.

The round will make use of the new Innovate Licence, developed by the OGA in collaboration with industry to create flexible, variable licences.

The 30th Round is open for applications until 21 November 2017 and decisions are expected to be made in Spring 2018.

This round follows on from recent successful rounds, with 12 licences awarded to 10 companies in the Supplementary Round earlier this month and the 29th Offshore Licensing Round which awarded 25 licences for 111 blocks or part blocks to 17 companies for frontier areas in March 2017.

To support companies in their technical assessments, the OGA recently released around 140 datapacks on undeveloped discoveries which are included in the latest round offering.  Of these, around 60 contain ‘technical montages’ which provide the discovery’s history, static and dynamic information and digital subsurface data.

In addition, regional geological maps covering the Central North Sea and Moray Firth can be accessed at the Data Centre on OGA’s website, as can an updated set of relinquishment reports and geospatial data.

Andy Samuel
Andy Samuel

Andy Samuel, OGA Chief Executive, said: “The 30th Licensing Round offers companies a significant opportunity to rebuild their portfolios; taking advantage of the flexible Innovate Licence, technology and improvements to the UK fiscal regime.

“We are encouraging companies to take a fresh look at large areas of acreage, some of which has not been available since 1965, and make best use of the recently released information and new data packs to inform their applications.

“These factors combined mean now is a very good time to invest in the UKCS/ North Sea.”

This round will be followed by the 31st Offshore Licensing Round, which is expected to once again focus on frontier areas of the UKCS, including those areas covered by the 2016 UK Government-funded seismic acquisition project of South West Britain and the East Shetland Platform.

25 July 2017 

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