Britain’s Oil & Gas Authority (OGA) has launched the 31st Offshore Licensing Round.
On offer are 1,766 blocks spanning 370,000 sq km (142,858 sq mi) across frontier areas of the UK continental shelf (UKCS). Areas include the West of Scotland, the East Shetland Platform, the Mid North Sea High, South West Britain and parts of the English Channel.
Government-funded seismic programs in 2015 and 2016 generated more than 80,000 km (49,710 mi) of seismic data over the blocks on offer. The new seismic data, together with supporting datasets and reports, were released in advance of the round, according to Offshore report.
Companies have until July 18 to propose additional blocks in more mature areas for possible inclusion where applicants intend to commit to a substantial firm work program.
Dr Andy Samuel, chief executive of the OGA, said: “Following hot on the heels of the strong industry response to the 30th Round, the OGA is opening up large areas of acreage to industry that offer the opportunity for high-impact exploration growth.
“The array of measures put in place by the OGA over the last two years, coupled with the UK’s highly attractive fiscal regime and openly-accessible data have laid the foundation for the ongoing revival in exploration activity across all areas of the UK continental shelf,” Offshore quoted Samuel as saying.
Applications for blocks on offer must be submitted by Nov. 7, 2018. The 32nd Offshore Licensing Round is planned to open next summer and will focus on mature areas of the UKCS, the report adds.