Europa Oil & Gas has been awarded a licence in the southern North Sea as part of the UK 28th licensing round.
The company said the conditional award of a promote licence over Block 41/24 was given by the OGA (Oil and Gas Authority) as part of a joint venture with Arenite Petroleum Limited.
A total of 41 new licences were awarded in the latest round and the second tranche of successful bids follows the 134 bids confirmed last year, totalling up to 175 licences covering 353 blocks.
The promote licence is for two years duration and Europa said it requires financial, technical and environmental capacity to be in place and a firm drilling commitment to have been made by the end of the second year.
Once this step has been achieved, the award will become a traditional licence with a duration of up to 26 years.
Europa chief executive Hugh Mackay, said: “We are delighted to announce this award. As a consequence of previous and ongoing work we have considerable technical expertise on Carboniferous prospectivity as well as substantive seismic and other technical data in this area.
“The promote licence terms enable us to leverage this capability whilst at the same time managing costs and financial exposure.
“The oil and gas industry onshore UK has been developing new exploration ideas and we hope to apply some of these ideas to good effect in the offshore extension.”
Block 41/24 adjoins the Yorkshire coast and contains 41/24a-1 & 2 stranded gas discoveries in Permian-aged Zechstein Carbonates and was previously held by Europa as a traditional licence from the 21st round.
Europa said the exploration emphasis of this licence is to address the Carboniferous prospectivity in the Namurian and Dinantian sequences.
The adjoining onshore extension of the Cleveland Basin contains a number of gas fields and discoveries including Kirby Misperton, Ebberstone Moor and Cloughton.
A total of 173 applications were lodged when the 28th round officially opened at the start of last year.
An initial wave was approved in November last year. These latest confirmations follow additional environmental and consultation time.
ENI led the latest round of approvals with 23 go-aheads. Shell, Nexen and OMV picked up 28 approvals between them.
More than 40 billion barrels of oil have been extracted from the UK Continental Shelf and further 20 billion barrels are thought to still be leveraged from the basin.