UK Auctions Offshore Buchan Licenses

UK Auctions Offshore Buchan Licenses

Authorities in the UK have launched an offshore licensing round for North Sea fields holding an estimated 300 million barrels of oil equivalent.

The auction covers oil and gas fields in the Greater Buchan Area, situated in the Outer Moray Firth region of the North Sea. The prospect is welcome news for breakbulk operators that have faced several years of tough conditions in the North Sea, as oil prices have helped suppress new activity.

“Companies are being encouraged to collaborate and partner with each other to progress the material exploration and development opportunity in the area includes a number of undeveloped discoveries and prospects,” a spokesperson for industry regulator the Oil and Gas Authority, or OGA, said.


Advance release of data

Covering about 5,800 square kilometers, the Supplementary 31st Offshore Licensing Round was launched by the OGA, supported by advanced release of substantial information and data.

“The OGA is continuing to make more and more data openly available, and this data set included well data for 154 wells, 3D seismic surveys, relinquishment and technical reports. To date, there have been 1,122 downloads from the OGA’s website, totaling 7.4 terabytes of data by 34 different companies,” the OGA stated.

The OGA has also launched a Buchan Field Production Dashboard via its Open Data site, which can be used to show the area’s entire historic production profile.


"Significant" Resources Remaining

First developed in 1981 when the Buchan Alpha floating drilling rig came online, the Buchan Field is estimated to still contain “significant oil and gas resources,” making it a valuable area of the North Sea.

“There’s been excellent interest in the Greater Buchan Area. There’s much to play for from exploration through to development opportunities. We are encouraging prospective operators to look beyond individual opportunities and actively partner with other companies to establish a mutually beneficial Area Plan realizing the full economic potential in the area,” said Andy Samuel, chief executive of the OGA.

Based in London, the OGA is incorporated as a government company, with the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy the sole shareholder. The organization is responsible for regulating, influencing and promoting the UK oil and gas industry.