Several oil explorers, including Aberdeen’s Faroe Petroleum, have said they are targeting “multiple new discoveries” following the latest North Sea licensing round.
The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) unveiled the results of the UK’s 30th licensing round on Wednesday.
Faroe Petroleum won its first new license since 2014 in the Central North Sea Edinburgh Prospect.
It straddles the maritime border between the UK and Norway and has been described by Faroe as a “highly exciting exploration prospect” which could lead to “multiple discoveries.”
Many operators struck a similarly upbeat tone from the licensing round.
Parkmead Group was awarded blocks spanning five new licenses in the Central and Southern North Sea and west of Shetland.
The company said two of the awards were in the Skerryvore area, with seven new prospects.
It also includes acreage in the Lowlander oil field, which Parkmead said will increase its contingent resources by 29% to 95.3million barrels.
Meanwhile, Cluff Natural Resources (CLNR), which is focussed on gas exploration in the Southern North Sea, won seven blocks in the region, which it said could contain up to 1.9trillion cubic feet of gas.
CLNR also won three blocks in the Central North Sea, including “multi-level oil prospectivity” in the 22/19f block.
Other winners included Serica with three new licenses which individually lie close to the Rowallan prospect, Serica’s Columbus field and a series of blocks at the Skerryvore around 40miles south of the Erskine field.
Meanwhile London-listed United Oil and Gas was awarded two blocks in the Central North Sea including the Crown discovery, which could contain up to 16million barrels of oil equivalent.
Faroe Petroleum’s chief executive Graham Stewart said the company is in a prime position to take advantage of the award.
He said: “This award is significant in that it is our first new licence in the UKCS since 2014 and leverages Faroe’s considerable knowledge and technical expertise gained over many years of activity in both UK and Norwegian waters in order to access attractive cross-border opportunities such as Edinburgh.
“Faroe is targeting multiple potential new discoveries with a significant exploration and appraisal programme of six wells committed in 2018 alone, taking full advantage of current low rig rates. Faroe’s track record in exploration has been outstanding, having delivered the vast majority of the Company’s 2P reserves and 2C resources.
“This in turn has led to the Company’s very significant development programme designed to more than treble current production rates over the coming years.”