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SEA 2 was carried out in 2001 and covered the majority of the UK’s North Sea oil and gas fields. This SEA was the first in the Offshore SEA programme to be undertaken in line with the newly adopted European SEA Directive (2001/42/EC) with the aim of facilitating the consideration of environmental protection and sustainable development objectives in the decisions relating to oil and gas licensing in parts of the North Sea. SEA 2 was prepared to assess the implications of licensing the area for oil and gas exploration through the 20th offshore licensing round.
In 2001, the discovery of the Buzzard oil field within the SEA 2 area increased interest in further hydrocarbon exploration in blocks adjacent to SEA 2. A minor modification to the SEA 2 area was made to cover an additional 14 blocks adjacent to SEA 2 which were then offered for licensing in the next (21st) offshore licensing round. The SEA 2 Extension Document describes the assessment of this area.