The regulator has put even more blocks up for grabs in the new North Sea licensing round which opened last week.
A total of 34 extra blocks have been added for the 33rd oil and gas licensing round, which the North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) said has been allowed “following further consultation with the MoD (Ministry of Defence)”.
The extra acreage, available in the central and southern North Sea, means more than 900 blocks are now on offer in the round, which closes on January 12.
Unveiling the round last week, the NSTA said over 100 licences could be dished out.
It includes “priority clusters” for energy security in the southern sector, though activist group Greenpeace warned it would mount a legal challenge against the process, which it termed “possibly unlawful”.