The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) has offered for award 12 licences to 10 companies in the 2016 Supplementary Offshore Licensing Round, which closed for applications in March 2017.
Fourteen blocks were originally on offer in this Supplementary Round, offered in response to industry nominations of areas outside of those covered by last year’s frontier 29th Licensing Round.
Locations varied across the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS), from the Southern North Sea to East of Shetland. The round offered blocks under flexible terms, enabling applicants to define a licence duration and phasing that will allow them to execute their optimal work programme.
In all, 15 applications covering 11 blocks were received and the OGA is now ready to make offers of award in respect of 12 licences covering the 11 blocks.
Five 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).
Andy Samuel, OGA Chief Executive, said: “We’re listening to industry and are pleased to make available a number of additional, nominated areas. The strong interest in this round bodes well for the forthcoming 30th round, demonstrating the renewed attractiveness of the UKCS and the opportunity for operators to rebuild their portfolios with a mixture of exploration, development and re-development activity.”
Notes to editors:
- The 2016 Supplementary round was launched on 6 December 2016 and closed for applications on 7 March 2017. It attracted 15 applications for 11 blocks.
- Applicants have been screened for financial capacity (as well as technical capability and environmental matters) and all those recommended for the offer of an award have been tested for their financial ability to execute the commitments they will be taking on.
- It should be noted that the licences do not convey permission for development activities including drilling; these require further consents from the OGA.
- Drilling activity, or subsequent development, will be subject to activity specific Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). The Offshore Petroleum Production and Pipe-lines (Assessment of Environmental Effects) Regulations 1999 (as amended) and the Offshore Petroleum Activities (Conservation of Habitats) Regulations 2001 (as amended) variously require that all activities undertaken in connection with UK offshore hydrocarbon exploration and production are subject to an environmental assessment prior to consent.
- On 1 October 2016, the OGA became an independent government company. As a result, decisions previously held by ministers, including exploration and production decisions and approvals, are now held by the OGA Chief Executive, Andy Samuel.
- The previous licensing round, the 29th Offshore Licensing Round, awarded 25 licences for 111 blocks or part blocks to 17 companies for frontier areas in March 2017.
- The next licensing round will be the 30th Offshore Licensing Round, expected to be announced during Q3 2017. This round will focus on mature areas of the UKCS.
For more information, please contact the OGA press office:
Tel: +44 (0) 300 020 1072