UK’s 20th Licensing Round Open for Bids

Brian Wilson, the UK's Energy Minister has announced that the 20th licensing round for the UK sector of the North Sea will open up almost 300 blocks offshore for competitive bids. The blocks are located in the northern, southern and central North Sea. The closing date for applications is April 16th.

The blocks are to be awarded for an initial four years after which half of the license will revert back to the government. After a subsequent four years, acreage that is not covered by a specific development plan will also revert back. Fields which are developed under the 20th licensing round will have a license period of 26 years.

The UK Energy Minister "wants to get these licences into the hands of companies who are hungary and innovative." He is expecting a busy spring for explorers and their activity resulting from this licensing round which will help meet PILOT's (the UK industry and government forum) production targets for 2010. PILOT's production target is aiming to maintain three million barrels of oil equivalent per day by 2010.