The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) will make a new batch of data available to help revitalise exploration in the UK Continental Shelf.

New data packages about the Greater Buchan Area of the North Sea will be released before the next licensing round to help companies decide whether to bid.

The regulator is encouraging companies to partner up and collaborate to progress exploration and new developments in the area.

At the PROSPEX 2018 conference in London on Wednesday the OGA announced it will publish a number of subsurface data packages for the area, which is estimated to contain  150-300 million barrels of oil equivalent.

Located in the outer Moray Firth, the Greater Buchan Area features considerable open, currently unlicensed acreage, including a number of undeveloped discoveries.

Scott Robertson, central North Sea area manager at the OGA, said: “As a key sponsor of PROSPEX 2018, the OGA is delighted to engage with industry on the 2019 Supplementary Licence Round and announce the release of a suite of subsurface data for the Greater Buchan Area, which has significant redevelopment opportunity, undeveloped discoveries and exploration potential.

“We are encouraging prospective operators to look beyond individual opportunities and adopt an area plan approach to their licence applications through collaboration and actively partnering with other companies to unlock this exciting opportunity.”

The data packages will be published on December 17 ahead of the opening of the Supplementary 31st Offshore Round of licensing opening in the first quarter of 2019.

The OGA holds both offshore and onshore licensing rounds inviting applications from companies, and said it makes awards to those bids that promise to maximise economic recovery of the UK’s oil and gas resources.