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Big Oil Is Down, But Not Out

Big Oil Is Down, But Not Out

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Zainab Calcuttawala

Zainab Calcuttawala

Zainab Calcuttawala is an American journalist based in Morocco. She completed her undergraduate coursework at the University of Texas at Austin (Hook’em) and reports on…

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Bidding Action Heats Up In UK’s Continental Shelf

Oil

This week, the British Oil & Gas Authority (OGA) reported that 68 companies had applied to operate one or more of 239 different blocks located off the United Kingdom’s coast.

“With 68 companies bidding, many of which we know to be new entrants, this response can be viewed as a vote of confidence in the UK Continental Shelf,” said Oil & Gas UK’s upstream policy director, Mike Tholen. “It offers early signs that the $8 billion of merger and acquisition activity highlighted in our Economic Report is translating into activity in the basin. This will help realize as much of the 2-6 Bbbl of yet to find potential, particularly given the maturity of this licensing round and its large inventory of prospects and undeveloped discoveries.”

The 30th round closed on November 21st. The next one is set for mid-2018, but details regarding the auction have yet to be released. The OGA is due to report the results of the 30th round next Monday.

“Efforts by the OGA to provide new data, analysis, and insights has stimulated a number of high-quality applications,” OGA head of exploration and new ventures Nick Richardson said. “Together with the added advantages of flexible licensing, technology development and improvements to the oil and gas fiscal regime, this has evidently created the right conditions to support continued investment in the UKCS.”

The UK production for both oil and gas follow fairly good bell curves about ten years behind the equivalent exploration drilling and discovery curves. This round, regions with significant existing investment got more applications, Richardson said.

“The focus on regions with existing infrastructure provided companies with an excellent opportunity to take a fresh look at a large inventory of opportunities from which to rebuild their portfolios to help sustain future production,” he added.

By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com

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