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Offshore Oil and Gas Licensing Round

Volume 571: debated on Friday 29 November 2013

After thorough consideration of the final applications made in the 27th offshore oil and gas licensing round, I am pleased to be able to announce a second tranche of offers of 52 production licences.

This follows a screening assessment of the blocks applied for in the round which concluded that 61 blocks which were close to, or in, certain special areas of conservation (SACs) and special protection areas (SPAs), should be subject to full appropriate assessments as required by the EU habitats and birds directives and the UK implementing regulations. Appropriate assessments are conducted where the screening assessment shows that oil and gas activities could have significant effects on those SACs and SPAs and include a public consultation. These assessments have now been completed and conclude that the proposed oil and gas activities will not cause an adverse effect on the integrity of relevant European sites as defined in the habitats and birds directives.

These series of offers further demonstrate the continuing attractiveness both of the UK continental shelf as an oil and gas producing province and of our approach to offering a range of licences meeting a diverse range of needs.

Details of the offers that have been made can be viewed on the website at: