The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA), the UK oil and gas regulator, yesterday awarded 41 new offshore oil and gas exploration licences as part of UK’s 28th Offshore Licencing Round. Oil & Gas UK, representative body for the UK Offshore oil and gas industry, has welcomed the awards.
The 41 new licences were awarded in addition to to the 134 confirmed in late 2014 making this one of the largest rounds in the five decades since the first licensing round took place in 1964.
Following the Monday awards, Oonagh Werngren, Oil & Gas UK’s operations director, commented:
“Today’s announcement, of the second half of the 28th offshore Licence Round on the UKCS is very welcome. The new licences are in a range of locations from mature, well-explored basins, to frontier acreage in the Rockall Trough and St George’s Channel Basin to the west of the UK, with licences awarded to both experienced operators and relatively new players. Of concern, however, is that only one firm well and five new 3D seismic programmes appear to have been bid on the acreage, with the majority of licences being awarded on the basis of reprocessing or obtaining old 2D and 3D data.”
“The oil and gas industry is facing a number of major challenges, including the need to stimulate exploration, so today’s announcement, in conjunction with the new Government-funded 2D seismic programmes in the Rockall Trough and the mid North Sea, provides welcome stimulus for the basin and demonstrates that explorers still consider the UKCS prospective territory for the future.”