UK Energy Minister Stephen Timms has announced a new licensing round and introduced an innovative license to increase the amount of oil and gas activity on the UK continental shelf.
The new Frontier license is available for the first time in the 22nd offshore licensing round. This new type of license is designed to increase the amount of oil and gas activity in the West of Shetland region. Much of this region has not been offered for licensing in many years.
Under the Frontier license, as with the Promote license, the rental fee will be cut by 90% for the first two years, compared to the rate for a traditional production license. This, together with the extended exploration and development periods will give companies an added incentive to find oil and gas in this new region.
"I am pleased to announce this latest licensing round for the UKCS, which is the most extensive of its kind since 1965 – proof of the government's strong commitment to the region," Timms said. The new Frontier license is the UK government's latest move to exploit natural resources along the UK continental shelf.
The Frontier license is available only in the West of Shetland region. The Promote license is offered in areas excluding the West of Shetland, and the traditional license will apply to all regions.
The new licensing round has opened all of the UK onshore area and 1,039 blocks and part-blocks in the offshore area for oil and gas licensing opportunities.