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asked the Secretary of State for Energy how many different companies will operate exploration licences following the recent ninth round of allocations; and how many of those companies will be acting as operators for the first time.
asked the Secretary of State for Energy what representations he has received from smaller oil companies following the announcement of the ninth round of licence allocations.
The ninth round involved production licences. Thirty one companies received one or more awards as operator, three for the first time. Awards have been discussed at a number of meetings between Ministers and officials of this Department and individual oil companies. Generally, small companies did well.