The following graphic shows a breakdown of the licences awarded in the latest round.
The licences, spanning some 74 blocks and part-blocks have been offered to a total of 17 companies.
Equinor received the most blocks in this tranche, securing 14 blocks across two licences (one shared with its recently acquired subsidiary Suncor Energy).
The blocks offered in this tranche all lie in the Central North Sea, Northern North Sea, and West of Shetland areas.
The remaining blocks, the majority in the Southern North Sea and East Irish Sea, will be offered when environmental evaluations, including Habitat Regulation Assessment (HRA) Appropriate Assessments, have been finalised by OPRED.
NSTA analysis show that the average time between licensing and first production is now close to five years, which means that licences awarded now could be producing before the end of the decade.
A NSTA spokesperson said:
“This latest batch brings total offers so far to 51, with more to come once the appropriate environmental checks are complete.
“These licences have the potential to make a significant contribution to the UK in energy production and economic benefits, and the NSTA will work alongside the licensees to help bring them into production as quickly as possible.”
Minister for Energy Security and Net Zero Graham Stuart said:
“We will continue to need oil and gas over the coming decades, so it is common sense to make the most of our own resources – with domestically produced gas almost four times cleaner than importing Liquefied Natural Gas from abroad.
“These new licences will strengthen our energy security now and into the future, while also helping boost our economy, by backing an industry that supports 200,000 jobs and is worth £16 billion each year.”