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17 December 2015 | by Gabor Chodkowski-Gyurics

Final results of UK 14th Licensing Round

Final results of UK 14th Licensing Round
As many as 22 operators were offered a total of 140 license blocks in the second tranche of the UK 14th Onshore Licensing Round, the Oil & Gas Authority (OGA) announced on December 17. The result shows interest in the UK shale gas persists, although it may be somewhat disappointing that few international companies were awarded blocks.

The blocks on offer cover some 160,000 square kilometers of areas prospective for shale gas, coalbed methane and conventional gas development.

The largest beneficiary of the second tranche is INEOS Upstream, which will be offered 35 new onshore blocks, followed by South Western Energy with 23 blocks and Cuadrilla with 16. Other companies to receive the licenses include Angus Energy, IGAS and GDF Suez. The licence terms foresee up to 98 new wells could be drilled, of which at least nine would be fracked, according to initial operators commitments presented by the OGA. Before drilling kicks off, companies are likely to roll out 2D and 3D seismic programmes. That should be an opportunity to providers of seismic services.

No new licenses were awarded in Scotland and Wales, in accordance with devolution settlements set out in the Scotland Bill currently before Parliament and the soon to be introduced Wales Bill. The settlements allow the Scottish and Welsh government to decide on licensing matters independently of london.

The 14th Onshore Oil and Gas Licensing Round was launched on 28 July 2014 and closed on 28 October 2014. A total of 95 applications covering 295 blocks were received from 47 companies. Of the 159 blocks awarded in both tranches, 75 are subject to limitations prohibiting some or all activities in certain areas of the block due to environmental reasons. These blocks will be incorporated into 93 onshore licences.

This article has been updated to reflect the number of licenses granted to operator.


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