OGA Receives 'Great Response' to Latest UK Offshore Licensing Round
The Oil & Gas Authority (OGA) has received a ‘great response’ to the United Kingdom’s latest offshore licensing round, the regulator confirmed on its Twitter page Wednesday.
Ninety-six applications, covering 239 blocks, were submitted in the main oil and gas producing areas of the UK Continental Shelf for the 30th Offshore Licensing Round. Applications were received from 68 companies, ranging from multinationals to new country entrants.
The Licensing Round, which closed on November 21, offered participants the chance to acquire acreage in the UKCS’s main basins, including the Southern, Central and Northern North Sea, the West of Shetland and East Irish Sea, with an aggregate area totaling 28,275,280 acres. Awards are expected to be offered to successful applicants during the second quarter of 2018.
The acreage offer featured a large inventory of prospects and undeveloped discoveries, according to the OGA, which said it provided digital data packages and co-hosted a technology event with the Oil and Gas Technology Centre to support the industry in ‘unlocking’ these opportunities.
“Despite the difficult economic environment, industry has responded strongly to this round, confirming the high remaining potential of the UKCS,” said Nick Richardson, head of exploration and new ventures at the OGA, in an organization statement.
“The focus on regions with existing infrastructure provided companies with an excellent opportunity to take a fresh look at a large inventory of opportunities from which to rebuild their portfolios to help sustain future production,” he added.
Independent oil and gas firm i3 Energy plc confirmed Wednesday that it was one of the 68 applicants. The company said it had targeted and extensively evaluated seismic and well data on a 'highly attractive region of acreage', which, if awarded to i3, could add 2C Contingent Resources of 22 million barrels of oil to the company's portfolio.
"The UK licensing round offers an exciting opportunity," said i3 CEO, Neill Carson, in a company statement.
Attention now turns to the 31st Round, scheduled to be launched in mid-2018, which will provide ‘high-impact exploration opportunities in under-explored areas of the UKCS,’ according to the OGA.
To support the next licensing round, the OGA said it will release the results of the 2016 Government-Funded Seismic Program on November 27. The data covers the East Shetland Platform, North West Scotland, South West Approaches, East Irish Sea, Celtic Sea, Cardigan Bay, Morecambe Bay, Bristol Channel and English Channel.
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