The association said the move would pave the way for hundreds of blocks to be offered for exploration and production on the country's shelf.

By Joseph Murphy

Offshore Energies UK (OEUK) has said the UK's release of results from its climate compatibility checkpoint consultation for new oil and gas projects will boost the country's energy security.

The publication, expected shortly, will "open the way for hundreds of blocks of the UK's surrounding seabed to be offering for new oil and gas exploration and production licences," OEUK said on September 21. They could include areas off East Anglia, Yorkshire and north-east England, and in the Irish Sea, plus others off Scotland and the northern isles of Shetland and Orkney, the industry association said.

The consultation focused on whether future oil and gas developments in the UK were in keeping with the country's climate goals. The expected release of results comes after the UK prime minister Liz Truss announced last week that her government would launch a new oil and gas licensing round this month.

"The UK currently relies on gas and oil for 75% of its total energy. Producing our own energy cleanly gives us more control over our own economy and makes us less dependent on other countries," OEUK's acting CEO Mike Tholen said in a statement. “That is always important but never more so than now when we face a global crisis over energy supplies. We need to move to a low carbon future but that will take decades – during which we will need continuing supplies of gas and oil. We need new licences now because the UK continental shelf is what we call a mature basin where many existing fields are in gentle decline."