Oil & Gas UK, the UK’s oil industry trade body, has welcomed the announcement by the Department of Energy and Climate Change of high interest shown by the companies in the latest offshore licencing round in the UK.
Oonagh Werngren, Oil & Gas UK’s operations director, said: “We are very pleased to hear that there has been such a strong response to the latest licensing round issued by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC)- with 173 applications for 370 blocks.”
“Our recent Activity Survey highlighted that the industry is facing the most significant decline in exploration for 50 years- with only 15 exploration wells drilled in 2013 compared to 44 in 2008. Our focus now, as an industry, must be on realising the potential of the North Sea by acquisition of new acreage and subsequent drilling of more exploration wells.”
The DECC will examine applications over the coming months and aims to start awarding acreage in the autumn.
The UK’s oil and gas sector still provides almost half of the country’s energy and is the largest single industrial UK investor. Directly and indirectly it supports around 450,000 jobs in the UK.