Exploration fears persist despite ‘encouraging’ UK licensing round

Thirty-five companies staked claims to 164 blocks in frontier areas of the UKCS in the 31st round, which closed on November 7.
Thirty-five companies staked claims to 164 blocks in frontier areas of the UKCS in the 31st round, which closed on November 7.

The UK oil industry’s regulator said today that it was “encouraged” by the response to the latest North Sea frontier licensing round.

But the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) remains concerned about low levels of drilling activity in the UK continental shelf (UKCS).

Mike Tholen, upstream policy director at industry body Oil and Gas UK (OGUK), said the 31st bidding round showed the appetite for exploration had grown, but agreed more urgency was needed.

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