UK awards offshore blocks in ‘biggest ever’ licensing round

Edward Davey, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) UK, today, November 6, 2014, announced the offer of awards for Licenses in the 28th Seaward Licensing Round.

“After thorough consideration of the applications made in the 28th Offshore Oil and Gas Licensing Round, I am pleased to be able to announce an initial tranche of offers of 134 production licences. This demonstrates the continuing attractiveness both of the United Kingdom Continental Shelf as an oil and gas producing province and of our approach to offering a range of licences meeting a diverse range of needs,” Davey said in a statement.

The Government announced 134 licences covering 252 blocks in the 28th offshore licensing round. A further group of applications will be decided later, after environmental assessments, but, according to DECC, this looks like being one of the biggest rounds ever in the five decades since the first licensing round in 1964.

According to Davey’s statement, the offshore oil and gas industries currently support the employment of 450,000 people in the UK, making a “vital contribution to the UK economy and to the nation’s energy security with UK oil and gas production still supplying around half of the UK’s primary energy needs.”

Business and Energy Minister Matthew Hancock said: “The North Sea provides a safe, secure, home-grown energy supply for the UK. We are determined to make the most out of the North Sea and have moved quickly to implement the findings of Sir Ian Wood’s review. “This successful licensing round, which is on track to be one of biggest rounds ever in five decades, is a boost for the UK economy and shows that our long term economic plan is working. We are creating more jobs by backing business with better infrastructure investment. Industry are scrambling over themselves invest in the UK and explore for energy.”