The North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) is inviting applications for licenses to explore and develop 898 blocks and part-blocks in the North Sea in its 33rd offshore licensing round. NSTA expects more than 100 license awards.
Acreage will be offered in the West of Shetland, Northern North Sea, Central North Sea, Southern North Sea, and East Irish Sea. To support bids, the NSTA is publishing data packs with summaries of key prospects and discoveries to stimulate exploration and encourage new opportunities.
The NSTA has identified four priority cluster areas in the Southern North Sea which have known hydrocarbons close to existing infrastructure and have the potential to be developed quickly. These licenses are therefore prioritized for bidding.
Other measures in the licensing round include licensing the Rough gas-storage site and encouraging operators to consider reopening closed wells.
The application period will run until Jan. 12, 2023, 14:00 GMT. Applicants will be able to assess opportunities and apply from early October. It is expected that the first licenses will be awarded second-quarter 2023.