We hold offshore and onshore licensing rounds, inviting applications from companies and making awards to those bids that promise to ensure economic recovery of the UK’s oil and gas resources, whilst supporting the drive to net zero carbon by 2050.
The Review of Future Licensing of Offshore Oil and Gas
In September 2020 the Government carried out a review of the policy on licensing for North Sea oil and gas to ensure it was compatible with climate change objectives.
Noting the ongoing role of oil and gas on our path to net zero, the Government will introduce a new Climate Compatibility Checkpoint on future oil and gas licensing rounds to ensure they are compatible with wider climate objectives, including net-zero emissions by 2050. This checkpoint will use the latest evidence of the time, looking at the UK’s demand for oil and gas, the sector’s projected production levels, the increasing prevalence of clean technologies such as offshore wind and carbon capture, and the sector’s continued progress against its ambitious emissions reduction targets. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has stated that design of this checkpoint will be completed by the end of 2021.
In parallel, the Offshore Petroleum Regulator for Environment and Decommissioning is conducting a new Offshore Energy Strategic Environmental Assessment which will underpin future licensing rounds. The OGA plans to run another licensing round for oil and gas exploration on the completion of this assessment.
14th Onshore Licensing Round
On 17 December 2015, we announced that licences for a total of 159 blocks were formally offered to successful applicants under the 14th Onshore Oil and Gas Licensing Round.
14th Onshore Licensing Round information and resources
The 14th Onshore Oil and Gas Licensing Round was launched on 28 July 2014 and closed on 28 October 2014. A total of 95 applications were received from 47 companies covering 295 Ordnance Survey Blocks. Following scrutiny of the applicants’ competency, financial viability, environmental awareness and geotechnical analysis, and following the decision not to award licences in Scotland and Wales, 159 blocks were taken forward for further consideration.
In August 2015, the OGA announced its intention to offer licences covering 27 blocks. These blocks did not require further environmental assessment under the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010 (the Habitats Regulations). At this time, the OGA launched a consultation relating to a further 132 blocks that were subjected to further detailed assessment in accordance with the Habitats Regulations, and a public consultation on that assessment was carried out. Following the conclusion of the consultation process, the OGA is now satisfied that the approval of the 14th Licensing Round, and the award of each of the licences under the Round, will not have an adverse effect on the integrity of any protected European site. As a result, the OGA is offering licences for a total of 159 blocks. For 75 of these blocks, the licence will contain a condition that prohibits all or specific activities in parts of the block.
- Press notice
- Invitation to apply in the Official Journal of the European Union
- Questions and answers on application - (updated 07/10/2014) (PDF, 273KB, 10 pages)
- 14th Onshore Licensing Round Offers by Operator (MS Excel Spreadsheet, 24.9KB)
- Map showing blocks offered under 14th Onshore Licensing Round (PDF, 1.18MB, 1 page)
- Interactive map
- Map of the Landward acreage on offer (PDF, 1.12MB, 1 page)
- Shape Files of the Landward acreage on offer
Guidance and technical information
- Model Clauses (Terms and Conditions) to be included in Licences
- Onshore geotechnical data
- UK Onshore Geophysical Library
- Guidance about the Environmental aspects of any application (14R) (PDF, 325KB, 4 pages)
- Guidance about the Technical aspects of any application (14R) (PDF, 450KB, 12 pages)
- General financial guidance