Latest UK offshore licensing round aims to boost activity
The latest offshore licensing round offers blocks in all areas of the UK seas, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) said on Wednesday.
The 26th licensing round also introduces a new "Frontier license", which holds an extended nine-year exploration term for the West of Scotland area. The DECC said this was to "encourage oil and gas exploration in an area in which geological data is as yet scant".
Industry lobby group Oil and Gas UK said the move was "extremely encouraging".
The 14 blocks classified as "fallow" in 2009 have either been fully or partly relinquished in time to be on offer in this round.
In addition, most areas licensed in the first round in 1964 that have not been allowed extensions have been relinquished, and are included for offer in the 26th round.
Energy minister Lord Hunt presented the results, stating that the round will "provide a new boost to activity in the basin."
"Estimates suggest there are still around 20 billion barrels of oil equivalent, or possibly more, to be produced, and this latest licensing round will help ensure we realise this potential", he added.
Oil & Gas UK's chief executive Malcolm Webb said that 39bn bbl have been extracted from the UK continental shelf since first extraction and it is estimated that there are up to 25bn bbl still to recover. SL
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