The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) has offered for award 4 licences to 3 companies in the 2019 31st Supplementary Offshore Licensing Round, which closed for applications in May 2019.

Eleven blocks were originally on offer in this Supplementary Round which was focussed in the Greater Buchan Area of the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS).

This was the first time the OGA has linked a licence round offer with an Area Plan and the application process included the requirement for applicants to demonstrate their wider area plan development concepts and to seek to collaborate with other area licensees and applicants.

The round offered blocks under flexible terms, enabling applicants to define a licence duration and phasing that will allow them to execute the optimal MER UK work programme.

In all, 4 applications covering 5 blocks were received and the OGA is now ready to make offers of award in respect of 4 licences covering the 5 blocks.

Two of the awards are for work programmes that will proceed straight to Second Term, either for potential developments, or re-developments of fields where production had ceased and the acreage had been relinquished. The remainder of the licences will enter the Initial Term (exploration stage).

Scott Robertson, CNS Area manager, said: “From bringing together interested parties at an early stage to releasing extensive digital data in advance of the licence round, the OGA sought to facilitate a common understanding and industry collaboration. The resulting commendable level of engagement between operators and high quality applications enabled us to make awards confident that the right assets are going to be in the right hands to deliver the optimal MER development of the Greater Buchan area. We look forward to working with the awardees as they deliver on their work programs and commitments and to exploit the opportunities to re-purpose and sustain existing infrastructure.”

The OGA fully supports the transition to a low carbon economy. Government forecasts show that oil and gas will remain an important part of our energy mix for the foreseeable future, and maximising economic recovery from the UKCS is therefore vital to meet our energy demands and reduce reliance on imports.