The region that it has now opened up was subjected to a seismic testing campaign last year.
In a bid to contain the fallout of its historic vote, Britain has now drastically reduced its rental fees in its latest tender for oil and gas licenses by 90% in the North Sea.
As a result of this, the search for new oil and gas deposits in the North Sea is expected to fall to its 45 year low, as energy companies are shoring up their substantially reduced budget due to continuing weak oil prices.
Despite being an old basin, Britain’s North Sea is still estimated to contain deposits of billions of barrels of natural oil and gas worth at least $262.56 billion (200 billion pounds).
Thanks to its latest licensing round, the 29th, The British government aims to offer new areas for exploration including, Rockall Trough, East Shetland and the mid-North Sea High. Incidentally, these were subject to a government-funded seismic testing campaign, a year earlier.
“We recognise that market conditions are currently very difficult but nevertheless we have a shared goal of making the basin as attractive as possible for exploration,” said Andy Samuel, OGA’s chief executive.
Companies which managed to snag licenses for 2015, which was Britain’s biggest ever, include Eni and Shell.