Oil round open

THE GOVERNMENT has opened the 18th Seaward Petroleum Licensing Round. In a written parliamentary answer, Trade and Industry Minister John Battle said applications are now open for unlicensed acreage in the northern, central, and southern North Sea, and in the northern half of the Irish Sea, Liverpool bay and Morecambe Bay.

The offer also includes exploration blocks under the "fallow blocks initiative" which has encouraged companies to hand back acreage for which they have no current plans. Closing date for receipt of applications is 10-11 September.