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UK awards 46 new licenses to explore for oil and gas in North Sea

UK Energy Minister Charles Hendry set out his hopes for a “prosperous 2012” in the oil and gas sector, as he awarded 46 new licences to explore for oil and gas in the North Sea.

These awards represented the second tranche of licenses from the 26th Seaward Licensing Round, which closed on 28 April 2010. The first tranche offered awards of 144 licences to extract oil and gas from UK waters covering 268 blocks. This offer of awards was announced on the 27th October 2010. These offers in the second tranche were previously held back pending the need for further assessment on Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) and Special Protection Areas (SPAs).

Oil and gas remains crucial to the UK economy—contributing around 2% to the country’s GDP. Our innovative licensing system continues to make the UK one of the most attractive places to do business. These further licences have been subject to rigorous examination, and we are now satisfied that initial exploration can go ahead. These continued high levels of interest, and the award today of these licences, gives me yet more reason to be optimistic for a prosperous 2012 for the UK oil and gas sector.

—Charles Hendry, Minister for Energy



Mr. Hendry, a man of many voices, should wish for a "prosperous 2012" in oil and gas as it will be one of the last. Simply because oil and gas lease values will be dropping starting 2012 and continuing until you can purchase one for single digits.

Since much of the energy economy works on futures, projections and growing use - once it becomes clear to pols and execs that burning stuff is not necessary to create energy - the massive change will begin. And oil and gas leases will be amongst the first to crash.

But that's okay, 'cause other sectors will increase. Like those fortunate enough to have license to build CHP appliances for residences and industry. Happy New Year Mr. Hendry... it may be your last.

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