Licensing rounds

We hold offshore and onshore licensing rounds, inviting applications from companies and making awards to those bids that promise to maximise economic recovery of the UK’s oil and gas resources.

32nd Offshore Licensing Round

On 11th July 2019, the 32st UK Offshore Licensing Round officially opened and we are inviting applications for licences.  Applications are being accepted up to 14.00 on the 12th November 2019  through the LARRY system on the Energy Portal. 

A total of 768 blocks or part-blocks on offer across the main producing areas of the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) with acreage on offer in the Central North Sea, Northern North Sea, Southern North Sea and the West of Shetlands.

As part of its continued commitment to improving access to quality data and insights, the OGA is making a significant volume of data available to support the 32nd UK Offshore Licensing Round. These groundbreaking data packs have been carefully collated to assist industry in their efforts to stimulate exploration and encourage new opportunities within the mature areas of the UKCS.

Companies may also be interested in the 5th Faroese Licensing Round, the timing of which has been aligned with the United Kingdom’s 32nd Licensing Round.

Decisions are expected to be made in the second quarter of 2020.

ADDITIONAL BLOCKS NOMINATED

As part of the 32nd Offshore Licensing Round, which opened on the 11th July 2019, companies were given the opportunity to nominate additional blocks in adjacent areas for possible inclusion in the round. A number of nominations were received, which have now been fully reviewed. The OGA is pleased to announce, today 8th August 2019, that a further 32 blocks have been added to the round with details now available. (please see updated block listing and map).

A total of 796 blocks are now available in the 32nd Offshore Licensing Round.  All applications are to be made via the LARRY system on the Energy Portal, by the 12th November 2019 (14:00GMT).

 

Rhum Area Out of Round

On the 1st August 2019, the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) has launched a restricted Out of Round offer for two blocks 3/24c & 3/29c, around the Northern North Sea Rhum Field.

Applications are to be made via the LARRY system on the Energy Portal and will follow the normal Licensing Round Application process. Please see attached Guidelines (below).

The offer is open for 90 days and will close at 2:00pm on 30th October 2019. Decisions are expected to be made in Q4 2019.

31st Supplementary Offshore Licensing Round - Greater Buchan Area Plan

The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) has offered for award 4 licences to 3 companies in the 2019 31st Supplementary Offshore Licensing Round, which closed for applications in May 2019.

Eleven blocks were originally on offer in this Supplementary Round which was focussed in the Greater Buchan Area of the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS).

This was the first time the OGA has linked a licence round offer with an Area Plan and the application process included the requirement for applicants to demonstrate their wider area plan development concepts and to seek to collaborate with other area licensees and applicants.

The round offered blocks under flexible terms, enabling applicants to define a licence duration and phasing that will allow them to execute the optimal MER UK work programme.

In all, 4 applications covering 5 blocks were received and the OGA is now ready to make offers of award in respect of 4 licences covering the 5 blocks.

Two of the awards are for work programmes that will proceed straight to Second Term, either for potential developments, or re-developments of fields where production had ceased and the acreage had been relinquished. The remainder of the licences will enter the Initial Term (exploration stage).

Scott Robertson, CNS Area manager, said: “From bringing together interested parties at an early stage to releasing extensive digital data in advance of the licence round, the OGA sought to facilitate a common understanding and industry collaboration. The resulting commendable level of engagement between operators and high quality applications enabled us to make awards confident that the right assets are going to be in the right hands to deliver the optimal MER development of the Greater Buchan area. We look forward to working with the awardees as they deliver on their work programs and commitments and to exploit the opportunities to re-purpose and sustain existing infrastructure.”

The OGA fully supports the transition to a low carbon economy. Government forecasts show that oil and gas will remain an important part of our energy mix for the foreseeable future, and maximising economic recovery from the UKCS is therefore vital to meet our energy demands and reduce reliance on imports.

The 31st Offshore Licensing Round

On 10th July 2018, we invited applications for licences in the 31st Offshore Licensing Round. Applications were accepted up to 14.00 on the 7th November 2018 through the LARRY system on the Energy Portal. 

The Round attracted 36 applications covering 164 blocks in frontier areas of the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS).  For full details on the applications received please see the related Press Release.

On 4 June 2019, the Oil and Gas Authority offered for award 37 licence areas over 141 blocks or part-blocks to 30 companies in the 31st Offshore Licensing Round.

These successful awards act as a strong platform for future exploration and production in frontier areas of the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) in the Faroe-Shetland Basin, Moray Firth, East Irish Sea, East Shetland Platform, Mid North Sea High and English Channel.

A number of proposed new work programmes have been secured in this round, including new shoot seismic acquisition, with two licences progressing straight to field development planning (second term licences).

Overall, the awards have been offered to a broad spectrum of companies; with super-majors expanding their footprint and new entrant companies investing for the first time.

Dates of previous and indicative timings for future licence rounds

Dates of previous and indicative timings for future offshore licence round events, covering a five year total period,are detailed below:-

30th Offshore Licensing Round

On 25 July 2017, we invited applications for licences in the 30th Offshore Licensing Round.  The round closed for applications on 21 November 2017. On 23 May 2018 we announced the offer of awards in the 30th Offshore Licensing Round.

29th Offshore Licensing Round

On 27 July 2016, we invited applications for licences in the 29th Offshore Licensing Round. The Round closed on 26 October 2016. On 23 March 2017 we announced the offer of awards in the 29th Offshore Licensing Round.

2016 Offshore Supplementary Round

On 6 December 2016, we invited applications for licences in the Offshore 2016 Supplementary Round.  

28th Offshore Licensing Round

On 6 November 2014, we invited applications for licences in the 28th Offshore Licensing Round.