Exclusive: UK to announce dozens of new North Sea oil and gas licenses – sources Reuters

© Reuters Photo FILE: A section of BP’s Eastern Tri Area Project (ETEP) oil platform is seen in the North Sea, about 100 miles east of Aberdeen, Scotland. February 24, 2014.

LONDON (Reuters) – The British government is expected to announce dozens of new North Sea oil and gas exploration licenses to boost domestic production, two sources familiar with government discussions said.

The exact license number is yet to be confirmed, said one of the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Another said up to 130. The announcement could come on Thursday.

Prime Minister Liz Truss, who was appointed on Tuesday, is due to head to parliament on Thursday to discuss her government’s plans to tackle rising energy bills. During the leadership campaign, she reiterated that increasing domestic energy supply will be her focus in the search for inflation.

Truss’ office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The licensing cycle takes five to 10 years from initial exploration, so there is no short-term relief until oil and gas are produced from the field.

Britain’s last offshore licensing round was in 2020.

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