LONDON, March 21 (Reuters) – Britain will likely run a North Sea offshore oil and gas licensing round for existing discoveries this year, a spokesperson for the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) said on Monday.
The OGA, which is changing its name to the North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA), can hold the licensing round as soon as the government has completed its work on a new climate compatibility framework for oil and gas production, it said.
Britain is expected to publish a plan next week on how to boost domestic energy supplies to try to tackle spiralling prices and reduce the amount of imported oil and gas from Russia after its invasion of Ukraine.
As the host of the COP26 climate conference last year, Britain has also come under fire from activists for allowing continued investments in its oil and gas fields.
Britain last awarded oil and gas licences in 2020. The new round would focus on acreage where data has already shown that hydrocarbons exist, the spokesperson said, adding it was too early to give further details on which blocks might be offered.
Reporting by Shadia Nasralla Editing by Mark Potter