UK government awards 167 new licences from a record 224 applications
The UK Government has awarded 167 new licences for oil and gas projects in UK waters from a record 224 applications.
A total of 224 applications were submitted for licences covering 418 blocks in the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) 27th Licensing Round, with 167 awarded covering 330 North Sea blocks.
A further 61 blocks have also been referred by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) for environmental assessment in the 27th licensing round.
Applications for this latest licensing round surpassed the record set in the previous round by 37.
The Parkmead Group, headed up by Dana Petroleum founder Tom Cross, was awarded six new licences covering 25 North Sea blocks.
Cross said: “We are delighted with these extensive new licence awards, which will significantly increase our oil and gas operations on the UKCS.
“These awards complete an exceptional year for Parkmead, in which we have secured first production for the group in the Netherlands and also expanded our asset base in the UK North Sea through the acquisition of DEO Petroleum plc.”
Aberdeen-based Faroe Petroleum secured seven provisional awards.
Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said :"There are up to 24 billion recoverable barrels of oil equivalent remaining in the North Sea, with a wholesale value of £1.5 trillion, and this successful licensing round proves that the North Sea continues to attract investors.
"Continuing and sustained investment is vital to the long-term success of the sector and our Oil and Gas Strategy, launched by the first minister earlier this year, sets out for the first time a clear plan of support and programme of actions designed to ensure that our vision of a long-term prosperous sector can be realised."