WaterandEnergy : Nearly 100 applications covering 239 blocks were made by 68 companies in the 30th offshore licensing round on the UK Continental Shelf, the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) has revealed.
Applications came from companies ranging from multinationals to new country entrants. Acreage offered covered the UKCS’s main basins, including the Southern, Central and Northern North Sea, the West of Shetland and East Irish Sea, with an aggregate area totalling 114,426sq km (28,275,280 acres).
Applicants applied using a new Innovate Licence, developed by the OGA in collaboration with industry. The OGA intends to offer awards to successful applicants during Q2 2018.
Nick Richardson, Head of Exploration and New Ventures at the OGA, said: “Despite the difficult economic environment, industry has responded strongly to this round, confirming the high remaining potential of the UKCS. The focus on regions with existing infrastructure provided companies with an excellent opportunity to take a fresh look at a large inventory of opportunities from which to rebuild their portfolios to help sustain future production.”
The acreage offer featured a large inventory of prospects and undeveloped discoveries. As part of the round, the OGA openly provided several digital data packages, and co-hosted a technology event with the Oil and Gas Technology Centre (OGTC).
“Efforts by the OGA to provide new data, analysis and insights has stimulated a number of high quality applications,” adds Richardson.
۳۱st Round to launch
The 31st Round is scheduled to be launched mid-2018. The OGA says it will provide “high-impact exploration opportunities” in under-explored areas of the UKCS.
To support the next licensing round, the OGA will release the results of the 2016 Government-Funded Seismic Programme next Monday (27 November). Almost 19,000km of newly-acquired, broadband seismic data will be made freely available, together with about 23,000km of reprocessed legacy seismic data and well data packages.
The data covers the East Shetland Platform, North West Scotland, South West Approaches, East Irish Sea, Celtic Sea, Cardigan Bay, Morecambe Bay, Bristol Channel and English Channel. The data will be accompanied by new geotechnical studies commissioned by the OGA to investigate the key subsurface uncertainties in these areas and support further activity.