Companies can now apply for new licenses to drill for offshore oil and gas in a number of blocks in the Offshore 2016 Supplementary Round.

The fourteen blocks on offer in the Supplementary Round are outside of the 29th Oil and Gas Licensing Round offer area, which closed last month. Locations vary across the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS), from the Southern North Sea to East of Shetland. The round offers the ‘Innovate Licence’ concept which was launched for the first time in the 29th Round.

Andy Samuel, Chief Executive of the OGA, said: “The UKCS has both frontier and mature basins and this Supplementary Round is an important part of our approach to facilitate exploration across the whole of the UKCS.

“We are encouraged by the nominations from industry for licensing in these areas. The application of modern seismic techniques, improved collective understanding of the basin’s geology and a fresh perspective are vital to unlocking the remaining reserves in the UKCS’ mature areas.”

Companies have until 16:00 on 7 March 2017 to apply for the blocks on offer in this Supplementary Round.

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For more information please contact:     

Leona Minellas
Communications Manager
Oil & Gas Authority
Tel: +44 (0) 300 020 1072

Notes to editors:

  • The Offshore 2016 Supplementary Round opened at 08:00 on 6 December 2016 and closes for applications at 16:00 on 7 March 2017
  • 14 blocks are on offer in all
  • Enter point/register to use LARRY
  • A full list of the blocks on offer can be viewed on the Licensing Rounds page
  • The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) (formerly Department of Energy and Climate Change), Oil & Gas Environment and Decommissioning (OGED) Unit undertook a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) to help inform offshore energy licensing and leasing decisions by considering the environmental implications of the plan / programme. The SEA was subject to an 8-week public consultation during March and April 2016. On 13th July 2016 BEIS published the Post Consultation Report and Post Adoption Statement concluding the SEA process.
  • The SEA concluded that there are no overriding environmental considerations to prevent the achievement of the plan / programme. However, the SEA has made a number of recommendations regarding precautions, with the area offered restricted spatially through the exclusion of certain areas together with a number of mitigation measures to prevent, reduce and offset significant adverse impacts on the environment and other users of the sea. The excluded areas will not be part of the offer.
  • BEIS OGED will carry out a screening exercise in accordance with the Habitats Directive (Council Directive 92/43/EEC of 21 May 1992 on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora) to determine whether the activities proposed to be carried out under the prospective licences are likely to have a significant effect on the management of a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) or Special Protection Area (SPA). Where the screening exercise determines that a significant impact is likely, BEIS will undertake an Appropriate Assessment to determine whether the activities could have any adverse effects on the integrity of such SACs or SPAs. Licences will only be awarded where it has been ascertained that that there will be no adverse effect on the integrity of such SACs and SPAs. BEIS and HSE will also consider the safety and environmental requirements of the Offshore Safety Directive, and will make recommendations accordingly for or against the award of each licence.
  • Licences that are awarded in the round may contain conditions to protect environmental sensitivities, and the interests of other sea users. In addition, activities carried out under the licences will be subject to a range of legislation which is designed to protect the marine environment and other users of the sea, including regulations which apply the Environmental Impact Assessment and Habitats Directives in relation to offshore oil and gas activities.
  • The 29th Offshore Licensing Round launched on 27 July 2016 and closed on 26 October 2016. It attracted 29 applications covering 113 blocks.
  • It focused on the frontier areas of the East Shetland Platform, Rockall Trough and Mid-North Sea High Areas and was the first frontier licensing round since 1997.
  • The OGA is now commencing technical evaluations of the submissions, and will work towards making awards as early as possible in 2017.