UK to offer exploration rights for 27 onshore oil and gas blocks

Oil & Gas Authority (OGA) in the UK intends to offer development rights for 27 onshore blocks as a part of the country's 14th onshore oil and gas licensing round.

The announcement for allowing potential exploration of oil and gas, including fracking, follows the government's recent decision to accelerate planning process for shale gas developments in the country.


Mostly located around the east Midlands, North West, and Yorkshire regions, the announced blocks do not require further environmental assessment under the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010.

Around 47 companies had offered bids for areas covering 295 Ordnance Survey Blocks in the first round of the license blocks.

"This is why the OGA has moved quickly to confirm the winners of licence blocks which do not need further environmental assessment."

OGA will announce winners for 132 further blocks in the second lot of the 14th onshore oil and gas licensing round later in the year, following an ongoing consultation.

This is the first time in seven years that UK will be giving out shale gas exploration licences, reports Reuters.

UK Energy Minister Lord Bourne said: "As part of our long-term plan to build a more resilient economy, create jobs and deliver secure energy supplies, we continue to back our onshore oil and gas industry and the safe development of shale gas in the UK.

"This is why the OGA has moved quickly to confirm the winners of licence blocks which do not need further environmental assessment."

The blocks have been offered to firms including Island Gas, Cirque Energy (UK), Ineos Upstream, ADM, Cuadrilla Resources, Egdon Resources UK, Hutton Energy, Aurora Energy Resources, Blackland Park Exploration, GDF Suez E&P UK, Osprey Petroleum and Warwick Energy Exploration, reports International Business Times.

These selected operators will be granted the licenses after terms and conditions of both rounds of exploration blocks are finalised.

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