“With 68 companies bidding, many of which we know to be new entrants, this response can be viewed as a vote of confidence in the UK Continental Shelf.
“It offers early signs that the £8bn of merger and acquisition activity highlighted in our Economic Report is translating into activity in the basin. This will help realise as much of the 2-6 billion barrels of yet to find potential, particularly given the maturity of this licensing round and its large inventory of prospects and undeveloped discoveries.
“Whilst this reflects industry's growing optimism, our interests now turn to how many awards will be given, and the commitments which follow.”
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