76 companies have applied 115 applications to the U.K. to lease seabed areas in the North Sea to find oil and gas resources.
The process of potential development of new fossil fuel resources in the U.K. can take many years, and the first stage is leasing. The country plans to reduce its use and dependence on fossil fuels affecting climate change. However, the government has attracted attention to this leasing application as a key tool to improve energy security.
Energy and Climate Minister Graham Stewart said that such a high level of interest from industries in the filings is good to see. He believes that the issued licenses will have a positive effect on increasing domestic energy production and ensuring the UK's long-term energy security.
Wood Mackenzie Ltd has conducted an analysis that suggests improvements in the UK's domestic energy supply will not be significant for at least the next 10 years, even if exploratory drilling is successful.