Oil and gas – guidance

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.

On 1st April 2015 certain functions passed from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) a newly created Executive Agency of DECC


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 Round Second Tranche of Offers

These awards detailed below are conditional on compliance with the Offshore Safety Directive Regulations

Details of the offer of awards

Maps of seaward acreage offered

28th Seaward Licensing Round

On 6th November 2014, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) announced the offer of awards for Licenses in the 28th Seaward Licensing Round.

Below is a list of links detailing the offer and the Press Notice that includes a statement by Matt Hancock, the Minister for Energy.

Please note, as required by the Habitats Directive, a screening assessment has been carried out of the Blocks applied for in the 28th Round. As a result, 94 of the Blocks applied for, which are close to, or in, certain Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) and Special Protection Areas (SPAs), will be subject to further environmental assessments before any offer is made. A link to the page where this screening document appears on DECC’s website is provided below.

28th Round - awards

Details of the offer of awards

Maps of seaward acreage offered

28th Round - Contacts

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

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

14th Landward Licensing Round


On the 28th July 2014, the Energy Minister, Matthew Hancock, invited applications for Licences in the 14th Landward Licensing Round. The period for license applications to be submitted closed

Below is a list of links to: a Press Notice that includes a statement by Matthew Hancock; the official invitation in the Official Journal of the European Union; and the Strategic Environmental Assessment that was was carried out by DECC.

A Questions and Answer link was provided as below to respond to enquiries during the Round.

First tranche of awards

The announcement of the results of the 14th licensing round will be in two tranches. We plan to announce the first tranche of awards in August and the second tranche later in the year. The first tranche will be for those licence blocks that have been screened out as not requiring further environmental assessment under the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010. For the remaining blocks, which do require assessment under those Regulations, we will be launching a consultation, also in August. Subject to that consultation, a second tranche of awards will be announced later in the year. Details of the awards, when made, will be posted here.

14th Round - Information and Guidance

14th Round - Other Issues

The award of a licence does not imply prior consent to actual activities, and there are other regulatory and legal provisions that may restrict a licensee’s ability to carry out its proposed activities. The links below provide an introduction to such factors,

The Coal Authority manages the UK’s coal reserves and must agree to any access to coal formations for any purpose.

Certain processes capture native hydrocarbons, which originate in coal seams. The exploitation of these require permission from the Coal Authority (for access to the coal) and a licence from DECC (for capture of the hydrocarbons). The processes include Coalbed methane (CBM) which liberates native methane from virgin coal seams and vent gas (also called mines gas) which captures methane from working or disused mines.

14th Round - Point of Contact

General Round enquiries


IT Technical enquires

UK Oil Portal support line: Email : ukop@oga.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

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: