Energy Minister Charles Hendry announced new opportunities for UK oil and gas exploration with the launch of the 27th offshore licensing round.
2,800 blocks are being offered as the Government ensures the UK gets maximum benefit from our resources.
This offer follows on from the successful 26th round in 2010, which resulted in the largest number of licenses issued 190 since offshore licensing began in 1964.
Energy Minister Charles Hendry said, "I am very pleased to launch the 27th offshore oil and gas licensing round. This is shaping up to be a very prosperous year for the North Sea as we expect a substantial increase in field approvals. With around 20 billion barrels of oil still to be extracted, the UK Continental Shelf has many years of productivity left.
"The industry supports nearly half a million jobs and today's announcement will ensure a wealth of outstanding long-term career opportunities for people of all ages from North East Scotland right across the UK."
The Round closes for applications on May 1, 2012.
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