Oil and gas - guidance

Licensing - Oil and gas: licensing rounds

Current and previous licensing rounds for onshore and offshore petroleum licences, including lists of offers made in each round, press notices, maps, and the contact details of operators offered licences.

Overview

Licensing rounds yield better quality bids than other methods. Unlike auctions, for instance, licensing rounds do not divert significant sums of money away from exploration work and they give a much better expectation that a licence will be awarded to the bid that promises to optimise exploitation of the UK’s petroleum resources.

Onshore and offshore licensing rounds generally take place every other year.

Below you can obtain information about current and previous licensing rounds including lists of offers made in each round, press notices, maps, and the contact details of operators offered licences. This includes data from as far back as 1964.

28th Seaward Licensing Round

On 24th January 2014, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) invited applications for Licences in the 28th Seaward Licensing Round. Applications for Licences will be accepted up to 2.00pm on the 25th April 2014.

Below is a list of links to: a Press Notice that includes a statement by Michael Fallon, the Minister for Energy; the official invitation in the Official Journal of the European Union; an indicative guide to some of the other regulatory issues that will apply to successful applicants; a list of discoveries and fields where production has ceased in the seaward acreage being offered; and the Strategic Environmental Assessment that has been carried out by DECC.

A Questions and Answer link is provided below which will be populated with new guidance that DECC issues in response to enquiries during the Round.

All applicants in the 28th Licensing Round will be through the LARRY facility. (The Licensing Applications RepositoRY). This is a portal-based system that will lead the applicant through the process of compiling and submitting an application and will even take a credit card payment to cover the application fee, whilst guaranteeing security and confidentiality.

To use LARRY you need to be registered to use DECC’s Oil Portal – you can use your existing registration to use LARRY if you have one; if not you’re welcome to register just to use LARRY.

28th Round - How to apply

Easter Break Notice

Please note – You may register for a new Portal Account between Friday 18th April and Monday 21st April however these will not be issued until Tuesday 22nd April during normal business working hours.

Other relevant information

28th Round - Questions and Answers

28th Round - Maps of seaward acreage on offer

  1. Northern North Sea (PDF, 248KB, 1 page)
  2. Central North Sea (PDF, 387KB, 1 page)
  3. Southern North Sea (PDF, 294KB, 1 page)
  4. Irish Sea and Morecambe Bay (PDF, 404KB, 1 page)
  5. West of the Hebrides (PDF, 292KB, 1 page)
  6. South West Approaches (PDF, 258KB, 1 page)
  7. English Channel (PDF, 360KB, 1 page)

The Crown Estate has significant interest in the offshore area which could potentially affect exploration and development proposals. Please see the link below for further information including a map of these interests. Potential applicants are advised to take particular notice of the interests that are shown for the blocks you wish to apply for.

Some areas of UK controlled waters may be designated as Special Areas of Conservation. There is a map showing these areas, and a contact point for further information, in the link below. Potential Applicants are advised to take particular notice of the Special Areas of Conservation.

28th Round - Contacts

First point of contact on 28th seaward round awards
Jen Brzozowska
tel: 0300 068 6030
email: jen.brzozowska@decc.gsi.gov.uk

Alternate contact
Ricki Kiff
tel: 0300 068 6042
email: ricki.kiff@decc.gsi.gov.uk

Final Award in the 26th Round For Seaward Blocks 41/18 & 41/19

The Minister for Energy, John Hayes, announced on 3rd April 2013 a final 26th Licensing Round award for seaward Blocks 41/18 & 41/19.

Please see links below for more detail

27th Round First Tranche of Offers

Details of the offer of awards

Maps of seaward acreage offered

27th Round Second Tranche of Offers

Details of the offer of awards

Maps of seaward acreage offered

Out of Round - Seaward blocks 211/18e & 211/19c

14th licence round

DECC’s consultation on an Environmental Report on DECC’s proposals for further onshore oil and gas licensing in areas of Great Britain closed for comments on the 28th March 2014.

DECC will take all responses into account and will then issue a “Post-Adoption Statement” which will summarise how the Government intends to proceed in relation to further onshore licensing.

Contact: ogsea@decc.gsi.gov.uk

Past licensing rounds

Round Year Blocks offered Blocks applied for Blocks awarded Appns Licences Licence numbers Licence terms (years)(f)
1 1964 960 394 348 31 53 P001-P053 6+40
2 1965 1102 127 127 21 37 P054-P090 6+40
3 1970 157 117 106 34 37 P091-P127 6+40
4(a) 1971-2 436 286 282 259 118 P128-P245 6+40
5 1976-7 71 51 44 53 28 P259-P286 4+3+30
6 1978-9 46 46 42 55 26 P297-P322 4+3+30
7 1980-1 395 97 90 125 91 P325-P415 6+30
8(a) 1982-3 184 84 70 60 55 P417-P471 6+30
9(a) 1984-5 195 120 93 149 89 P477-P565 6+30
10 1986-7 127 61 51 75 51 P566-P616 6+30
11 1988-9 212 115 115 125 105 P617-P721 6+12+18
12 1990-1 161 116 107 115 74 P722-P795 6+12+18
13(b) 1990-1 117 66 66 13 6 P796-P801 9+15+24
14 1992-3 484 128 110 97 79 P803-P881 6+12+18
15 1994 81 34 29 25 20 P882-P901 6+12+18
16 1994-5 164 82 79 61 45 P902-P946 6+12+18
17 1996-7 275 127 114 32 25 P948-P972 3+6+15+24
18 1998 602 82 78 43 47 P975-P1021 6+12+18
19 2000-1 44 12 12 13 8 P1023-P1030 6+12+18
20 2002 289 36 36 29 25 P1039-P1063 4+4+18
21 2003 611 211 138 70 89 P1064-P1152 4+4+18
22 2004 1039 164 162 76 96 P1159-P1253 4+4+18(e) 2+4+6+18(d)
23 2005 1329 274 259 135 151 P1254-P1404 4+4+18(e) 2+4+6+18(d)
24 2007 1411 255 246 147 150 P1406-P1555 4+4+18(e) 2+4+6+18(d)
25 2009 2297 279 303 193 185 P1556-P1740 4+4+18(e) 6+6+18(d)
26 2010 2818 356 378 187 190 P1741-P1928 4+4+18(e) 6+6+18(d)
27 2012 2788 418 xx 224 xx xx 4+4+18(e) 6+6+18(d)

Licences issued other than in formal licensing rounds, including Segregation Licences and Out-of-Round Licences, are not included here.

One Licence number (P476) was allocated but not used.

Since the 11th Round, licences have continued into final term only if development had already approved or imminent.

A single application may cover separated areas, leading to more than one licence, which is why licences awarded may outnumber applications.

‘Blocks’ includes parts of blocks.

Table footnotes

(a) Five blocks offered in sealed-bid auction; the rest in standard way
(b) Frontier round
(c) One third relinquishment if two or more wells drilled; two thirds if only one well drilled; all if no wells drilled
(d) Frontier licences
(e) Traditional and/or Promote licences
(f) According to original terms of licences; subject therefore to subsequent circumstances and amendments
(x) Figures not yet available

Company contacts for previous rounds

Information about the following past licensing rounds is available on the National Archives:

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