Exploration

Working with industry and government to revitalise exploration is a priority for the OGA. Successful discoveries ultimately lead to the new field developments and additional production needed to support the UK’s energy demands as we transition to net zero by 2050. 

More than 45.3 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe) have been produced from the UKCS and 10 to 20 billion boe are estimated to remain. Despite the low levels of exploration activity in recent years, encouraging discoveries have recently been made in the West of Shetland and the Northern North Sea, Central North Sea and Southern North Sea, demonstrating that robust exploration opportunities still remain across key areas of the UKCS. 

Our exploration strategy, developed with strong input from the industry and government, describes our approach to revitalising exploration. This includes working with the industry to enhance exploration investment, integrate exploration into regional development plans, acquire and publish new geophysical data, and licence key prospectivity.