The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) has initiated a new Area Plan to maximise economic recovery (MER) from the Greater Buchan area of the North Sea, and is asking oil and gas operators to work together to develop the 150-300 million barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe) estimated to be present in the area.

The Greater Buchan area, situated in the Outer Moray Firth, features considerable open, currently unlicensed acreage, including a number of undeveloped discoveries. To maximise recovery of the significant potential recoverable resources in the area, the OGA will open a Supplementary Licensing Round in Q1 2019 which will be supported by newly available data.

The OGA is encouraging companies to partner with each other and collaborate to progress exploration and new developments in the area.

In advance of the round, the OGA will be hosting an information session in Aberdeen for interested oil and gas companies on 15 November 2018. At the event, the OGA will provide an overview on the timing and process of the Supplementary Licence Round and give further details on the supporting information which will be made available. 

Andy Samuel, OGA Chief Executive said: “A number of companies have already been showing high interest in the Greater Buchan Area, the exciting exploration potential and the many undeveloped discoveries. That’s why we’ve taken the decision to use a supplementary licensing round coupled with an Area Plan to help unlock the progression of what could be significant remaining resources.

“There’s much to play for across this whole region so we are strongly encouraging prospective operators to look beyond individual opportunities and actively partner with other like-minded companies to potentially bring forward mutually beneficial clusters of developments.”



1. A map of the Greater Buchan Area can be found here.

2. Area Plans are a shared view amongst industry participants of the optimal way to achieve MER UK in a specific set of circumstances. More information on Area Plans can be found here. 

3. More information on Licensing Rounds, can be viewed here

4. Operators wishing to attend the event on 15 November can register here

For more information, please contact the OGA press office: Tel: +44 (0) 300 020 1072 or