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UKOOA Responds To Licence Awards Announcement

Tuesday 1 December 1998

UKOOA Responds To Licence Awards Announcement

The UK Offshore Operators Association (UKOOA), the representative body for the UK offshore oil and gas industry, has welcomed the award by Government today of 78 North Sea blocks in the 18th Offshore Licensing Round.

The 18th Offshore Licensing Round has attracted interest from companies wishing to expand or establish their presence on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) and this is not surprising, given the nature of the blocks on offer.

The 18th Offshore Licensing Round differs from previous rounds in that applications were invited for all open acreage in the four mature areas of the UK Continental Shelf (Northern, Southern and Central North Sea, as well as the Eastern Irish Sea).

As most of the blocks are in well understood territory with many close to existing offshore infrastructure, the cost implications of taking on additional acreage are relatively low, especially when compared with frontier licensing rounds such as the 16th or 17th.

However, UKOOAs Director-General, James May, commented: The key issue for the Industry and Government will be the reduction of cost to make these licences viable in the current oil price climate. The work of individual companies, CRINE and the new Oil and Gas Industry Government Task Force will determine the ultimate success of the 18th Round.

Note to Editors

1. UK Offshore Operators Association (UKOOA) is the representative organisation for the UK Offshore oil and gas industry. Its 35 members are companies licensed by Government to explore for and produce oil and gas in UK waters.

2. The 18th Offshore Round of Petroleum Licensing was announced on 9 June 1998. Applications were submitted on 10 and 11 September 1998.

3. The 18th Round invited applications for all open acreage in the four mature areas of the UKCS (Northern, Southern and Central North Sea, as well as the Eastern Irish Sea). Certain blocks were excluded on environmental grounds or to protect other sea users interests.

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