UK offers 1,261 blocks in 29th offshore licensing round

UK’s Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) has launched the 29th offshore licensing round, making available 1,261 blocks for bid on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS). Firms have until Oct. 26 to apply for blocks.

Some of the available areas were part of last year’s UK government-funded, £20-million seismic campaign that acquired 8,896 km of full-fold seismic in the Rockall Trough area and 10,849 km of full-fold seismic in the Mid-North Sea High area.

The 29th Round marks the launch of the “innovate license” concept allowing licensees to work with OGA to design an optimal work program. OGA says the new concept enables more appropriate phasing of activity, rental fees, and competency tests; and implements a stage-gate process for better monitoring of progress than the previous licensing regime.

“We recognize that market conditions are currently very difficult but nevertheless we have a shared goal of making the basin as attractive as possible for exploration,” commented Andy Samuel, OGA chief executive. “We’ve listened to industry feedback and have introduced more flexibility in the licensing regime and opened up potential new areas for licensing.”

The 28th round in 2015 was one of the largest licensing rounds since offshore licensing began in 1964 (OGJ Online, July 28, 2015).

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