The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) has announced a suite of measures designed to make data openly available and stimulate interest in the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) ahead of the 30th Offshore Licensing Round.

The 30th Offshore Licensing Round will focus on the more mature areas of the UKCS – some of which were last offered for licensing more than 40 years ago – and is expected to be the most significant offshore round in recent decades.

The measures announced today include:

  • A series of freely available subsurface data packages for circa 140 relinquished discoveries, including well and seismic data (from Common Data Access), well tops (from OGA/BGS) and selected seismic images (from CGG, PGS and WesternGeco)
  • Technical montages for 60 discoveries, including the discovery’s history, static and dynamic information and digital subsurface data to be used in interpretation software
  • The launch of a technology event in Aberdeen in August, jointly hosted with the Oil and Gas Technology Centre (OGTC)
  • An interactive map, showing undeveloped discoveries
  • An interactive map, showing all licence relinquishments since 2014

The technology showcase event will focus on how technology can help unlock these future oil and gas developments in the upcoming 30th Offshore Licensing Round.

The event will bring operators, prospective investors and technology developers together at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre the week commencing 21 August 2017, and will cover technology areas that are critical for the economic development of marginal fields, including seismic, well construction, subsea tie-backs, and efficient standalone facility concepts. The agenda will include presentations by the OGA on acreage and opportunities available in the licensing round, by the OGTC on support available to technology development, and slots for technology providers to showcase proposed solutions.

In addition, the OGA is also preparing a number of exploration focused data sets for public release. These will include the publication of UKCS-wide satellite gravity data, regional geological maps and associated databases covering the Central North Sea and Moray Firth, joined digital well logs and several geological databases including core analysis and pressure data .

Gunther Newcombe, OGA Operations Director, said: “We know that more than 3 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe) remain in approximately 350 undeveloped discoveries across the UKCS. Data and technology are key to unlocking as many of these undeveloped discoveries as possible. That’s why we’re making this data openly available; to provide useful insights into each discovery and the potential these may hold.

 “We want to see swift deployment of technology to help unlock many of these discoveries which is why we have also launched, in partnership with the OGTC, a technology event in August to bring operators and technology providers together with the 30th Offshore Licensing Round and beyond very much in mind.”

Chris Pearson, Small Pools Solution Centre Manager for the Oil & Gas Technology Centre, said: “We are focused on significantly reducing the life cycle cost of field developments across the UKCS. To achieve this, we recognise that both incremental and radical innovations are required. We have presented the challenge to industry on how we can do this better, faster and at a lower cost than previously achieved, and we’ll share the output of these workstreams at the technology showcase.”

Mike Tholen, Oil & Gas UK’s upstream policy director, said: “A lot of work is being done by industry and government to stimulate exploration on the UKCS and extend the productive life of the basin. With up to 20 billion barrels of oil and gas left to recover, access to the latest subsurface data will help industry pinpoint resources more accurately, increasing the probability of successful drilling campaigns, which will help attract much needed fresh investment into the basin.”


Notes to Editors:

For more information, please contact the OGA press office:        

Tel: +44 (0) 300 020 1072