UK: OGA launches licensing round for Greater Buchan area. Eyes 300 million barrels

UK’s Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) has launched the Supplementary 31st Offshore Licensing Round in an attempt to maximize economic recovery from the Greater Buchan area of the North Sea.

Map of the Greater Buchan Area

OGA said on Thursday that the licensing round presented an opportunity to collaborate and maximize economic recovery of up to 300 million barrels of oil equivalent in the Greater Buchan Area.

Situated in the Outer Moray Firth in the North Sea, the area features around 5,800 square kilometers of currently unlicensed acreage, which includes a number of undeveloped discoveries and prospects.

The Buchan field, located in the area, came online in 1981 using the Buchan Alpha floating drilling rig which was on station for around 36 years.

The rig which reached the end of its design life has been removed from the location. However, OGA claimed that significant oil and gas resources were estimated to remain in the Buchan reservoir and the Greater Buchan region, making it a valuable area of the North Sea.

OGA added that it wanted to develop an Area Plan with the industry to maximize economic recovery of the remaining resources.

The Supplementary Round, announced in October 2018, was supported by an advanced release of substantial information and data, including seismic data packages. OGA is continuing to make more data available and this dataset included well data for 154 wells, 3D seismic surveys, relinquishment, and technical reports.

In November 2018, OGA said that the Supplementary Round attracted 36 applications covering 164 blocks in the area.

Andy Samuel, chief executive of the OGA, stated: “There’s been excellent interest in the Greater Buchan Area. There’s much to play for from exploration through to development opportunities.

“We are encouraging prospective operators to look beyond individual opportunities and actively partner with other companies to establish a mutually beneficial Area Plan realizing the full economic potential in the area.”

The next round, the 32nd Offshore Licensing Round, is planned to open in the summer of 2019 and will focus on mature areas of the UKCS.

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