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    North Sea bids hit 30 year high

    News // June 24, 2005
    Applications for the UK's latest offshore Oil and Gas Licensing Round have hit a 30 year high with firms applying for a record 279 blocks, the largest number applied for since 1972, Energy MinisterMalcolm Wicks has announced.

    The 23rd Licensing Round offers three types of licences for exploration and development of the North Sea including the "Frontier" licence which has helped spark interest in the relatively unexplored areas North and West of the Shetlands Islands.

    UK Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks said: "The fact that this is the highest number of blocks applied for since the 1970s is a solid vote of confidence from the industry in thepotential development of North Sea fields. PILOT has been vital to helping us create the type of licences and regulatory environment that attract and stimulate activity in the North Sea. The increase in applications from new firms is a clear endorsement of that approach, and a vindication that there is significant development opportunities still available for the right firm in the North Sea."

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