The UK government received a record-high 224 applications for North Sea oil and gas drilling licenses in its 27th offshore licensing round.
The applications cover 418 blocks. The previous high number of applications, 187, came in the 26th round in 2010.
The 27th round opened last February and closed May 1.
The Department of Energy & Climate Change received 192 applications for traditional licenses, 25 for promote licenses for small operators, and 7 for frontier licenses.