The UK’s Oil and Gas Authority (Oga) has released the results of the £20m government-funded seismic programme that includes under-explored areas of the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS).

The dataset comprises nearly 19,000km of newly acquired broadband seismic data, new gravity and magnetic surveys, almost 23,000km of reprocessed legacy seismic information and a rejuvenated set of digital well data.

It is expected to encourage exploration activity in the region and support the 31st Offshore Licensing Round, which is currently scheduled for the middle of next year.

“The challenge is now for the industry to increase the level and quality of exploration drilling across the UKCS and work together with the OGA in maximising economic recovery.”

OGA principal regional geologist Jo Bagguley said: “The seismic acquisition programme is a vital part of the OGA’s plan to help revitalise exploration, with up to £40m already spent to provide modern coverage of nearly all under-explored regions of the UKCS.”

“The UKCS has a lot to play for with up to 10 to 20 billion barrels of oil still remaining.

“The challenge is now for the industry to increase the level and quality of exploration drilling across the UKCS and work together with the OGA in maximising economic recovery.”

OGA’s latest 2D marine surveys were acquired last year and include the East Shetland Platform and South West Britain areas.

The new report, along with the information of the 2015 seismic programme, provides an exploration dataset for almost all of the UK’s under-explored offshore shelf areas.

In addition, OGA has released a regional study set relating to the East Shetland Platform and SW Approaches Basin, as well as a series of regional maps covering the Southern North Sea.