Mike Tholen, Oil & Gas UK’s upstream policy director, said:
“We welcome today’s announcement by the Oil and Gas Authority that it is to award 25 licences to companies seeking to explore for oil and gas across frontier areas of the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS).
This 29th licensing round has the potential to open up new areas of the UKCS which have been under explored until now and the three firm commitment wells offered will help test the potential opportunities available. It is clear the flexible approach the Innovate Licence offers has enabled three new companies with different business models and fresh ideas to enter the UK in this round – a process which has gained greater impetus from the availability of new seismic data drawn from across Rockall and Mid-North Sea High, funded by the government two years ago.
Frontier exploration is a long game which will take time to deliver new oil and gas resources. Fiscal stability to drive investment in exploration will be a prerequisite in the years to come, and the industry will continue to build on the competitive improvements achieved over the last two years to make this a success.“