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UK awards 25 licenses for oil and gas exploration in North Sea

Staff Writer |
The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) of the UK has offered for award 25 licences for 111 blocks or part blocks to 17 companies in the 29th Offshore Licensing Award to enable further exploration and production across frontier areas of the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS).

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The 29th Licensing Round was the first licensing round in two decades to focus solely on frontier, under-explored areas of the Rockall Basin, Mid-North Sea High, and part of the East Shetland Platform.

It attracted applications from 24 companies for 113 blocks when it closed in October 2016.

All areas generated interest, with highlights including: three firm well commitments in the near-medium term, work programmes involving the application of new technology, and three new entrants to the UKCS.

Two areas, Rockall and Mid-North Sea High, were the focus of the 2015 UK Government funded seismic acquisition programme which acquired an extensive new geophysical dataset.

The OGA subsequently provided an openly available, subsurface data package allowing companies to identify and target a range of opportunities. This was cited by companies as critical to stimulating their applications.

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