OGA gets 29 applications for licensing round

The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) has attracted 29 applications covering 113 blocks in the latest offshore licensing round which targeted under-explored areas of the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS).

The 29th frontier licensing round, launched on 27 July 2016, is the first licensing round in two decades to focus on frontier areas. Applications were received from 24 companies ranging from multinationals to new country entrants. Some of the proposed work programs include firm well commitments.

Frontier areas on offer included the East Shetland Platform and the Rockall Trough and Mid-North Sea High areas which were the focus of the 2015 UK Government funded seismic acquisition program. The OGA subsequently provided an openly available, geophysical dataset allowing companies to identify and target a range of opportunities. 

“Despite the difficult climate, industry has responded strongly to our offer, using analysis and insights to identify new prospects and submit high quality applications on blocks that did not attract interest in recent licensing rounds,” said Andy Samuel, chief executive, OGA.

The upcoming 30th offshore licensing round will cover mature areas of the UKCS, and will offer significant opportunities, including some blocks not available since the 3rd licensing round.

The recently completed 2016 UK Government funded seismic acquisition program of Southwest Britain and the East Shetland Platform will inform future frontier licensing. More than 13,500km of new seismic data plus approximately 20,000km of reprocessed legacy seismic data is scheduled to be released to industry in Q2/Q3 2017.

Image: 29th frontier licensing round map/ Oil and Gas Authority

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OGA launches 29th UKCS licensing round

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