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OGA Launches 32nd Offshore Licensing Round With Groundbreaking Supporting Datasets

11th July 2019

Photograph of OGA Launches 32nd Offshore Licensing Round With Groundbreaking Supporting Datasets

The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) has launched the 32nd Offshore Licensing Round with 768 blocks or part-blocks on offer across the main producing areas of the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS). Acreage is 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 in support of the 32nd UK Offshore Licensing Round. The 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.

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

The massive data release has involved collaboration with 11 companies, including operators and third-party specialists. It includes both UKCS-wide and more regionally-focused data packs and reports, including the deliverables from the first year of the government supported UKCS Petroleum Systems Project.

It is the largest publicly available geochemical database for the UKCS, representing over 90,000 geochemical samples from more than 2,700 wells. Other significant data sets include the open release of the Southern North Sea (SNS) Seismic Megasurvey which represents around 23,000 km2 of 3D post-stack seismic data; and a rock-physics study focused on the pre-Cretaceous prospectivity of the Central North Sea and East Shetland Basin.

"This latest release of carefully targeted, value-adding data demonstrates the OGA's continued commitment to supporting industry in its efforts to revitalise exploration," says Dr Jo Bagguley, Principal Regional Geologist at the OGA. "We're particularly excited about the geochemical database and the release of the SNS Megasurvey and look forward to seeing these, and the other released data packs, being used to good effect to support both 32nd Licensing Round applications and ongoing exploration activity in the basin.

The data sets are being made available through the UK National Data Repository (NDR) and the OGA Website.

The 32nd Offshore Licensing Round is open for 120 days until the application closing date on 12th November 2019 (14:00 GMT). Decisions are expected to be made in the second quarter of 2020.

The OGA is also offering companies the opportunity to propose additional blocks in adjacent areas, for possible inclusion where applicants intend to commit to a substantial firm work programme. Submissions should be made to the OGA in writing before 16:00 GMT on 18th July 2019.

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.

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