Britain opens up 813 oil and gas blocks in new licensing round

Britain opens up 813 oil and gas blocks in new licensing round

The British oil and gas regulator, the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA), has launched a new round of licensing for 813 blocks in UK seas.

The OGA has opened up a total of 114,426km2 of mature areas of the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) including blocks in the Southern, Central and Northern North Sea, West of Shetland and East Irish Sea.

The 30th licensing round is aiming to encourage oil and gas drillers to pursue gas deposits that are more difficult to reach in a part of the North Sea where drilling started over 50 years ago.

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 UKCS fiscal regime. These factors combined mean now is a very good time to invest on the UKCS.

“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.”

This round of licensing is open for 120 days until November 2017. The OGA said decisions are expected to be made in Q2 2018.