News story

North Sea oil and gas licensing round bonanza

UK oil and gas investment looks set to flourish after the Government announces winners of the record breaking 27th Licensing Round today.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

UK oil and gas investment looks set to flourish after the Government announces winners of the record breaking 27th Licensing Round today.

A total of 167 new licences have been offered by DECC covering 330 North Sea blocks - with a further 61 blocks under environmental assessment.

Interest in the North Sea from investors is at record breaking levels. In May DECC announced the 27th Licensing Round had a total of 224 applications covering 418 blocks of the UK Continental Shelf, the most ever received and 37 more than the previous high received in the last licensing round.

Energy Minister John Hayes said:

“Fortune has favoured the UK. Oil and gas from our waters provides around half the energy we need to heat our homes, fuel our cars and power our industry. It is the single largest industrial UK investor, supporting 440,000 jobs, and benefits the UK’s trade balance to the tune of £40 billion.

“This successful licensing round shows we are taking the right action to offer certainty and confidence to investors. Our fiscal regime is now encouraging small fields into production and our licensing regime supports new faces as well the big players to invest. Importantly, we are guaranteeing every last economic drop of oil and gas is produced for the benefit of the UK.

“It is our work with industry that is cultivating this precious resource, making our seas a fertile landscape for investors for many years to come.”

Note to editors:

  1. Details of the offers made can be viewed on the DECC Oil and Gas website.
  2. DECC press notice issued in May announcing recording breaking number of applications for 27th Licensing Round.
  3. More than 40 billion barrels of oil have been produced from the UK Continental Shelf with potentially another 20 billion still remaining to be exploited.
  4. The 27th Offshore Oil and Gas Licensing Round was launched on 1st February 2012 and applications were received on the 1st May 2012.
  5. Licences for 61 blocks that have been applied for, which are close to, or in, certain Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) and Special Protection Areas (SPAs), will be subject to environmental assessments before any offer is made. The EU Habitats Directive requires that “Appropriate Assessments” (AAs) be conducted where proposed activities are likely to have significant effects on any SACs and SPAs. A consultation will be carried out on the recommendations of these assessments before any decision is made on whether to offer any of these blocks.
  6. A list of numbers of licences and blocks offered in previous rounds can be found on the DECC Oil and Gas: Licensing rounds web page.
Published 25 October 2012