The U.K.'s upstream regulator, the Oil and Gas Authority offered 12 offshore oil and gas licenses for award to 10 companies in variable locations across the U.K. Continental Shelf (UKCS) from the Southern North Sea to the East of Shetland, the authority said in a statement Thursday.
"The Oil and Gas Authority has offered for award 12 licenses to 10 companies in the 2016 Supplementary Offshore Licensing Round, which closed for applications in March 2017," the statement read.
This Licensing Round, which was launched on Dec. 6, 2016, closed for applications on March 7, 2017, and attracted 15 applications for 11 blocks.
The previous licensing round, the 29th Offshore Licensing Round, awarded 25 licenses for 111 blocks or part blocks to 17 companies for frontier areas in March 2017.
"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,” Andy Samuel, OGA chief executive, was quoted as saying.
The next 30th Offshore Licensing Round is expected to be announced during the third quarter of this year and will focus on mature areas of the UKCS.