On 25 October 2012, 167 new licences were offered by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) covering 330 blocks across the North Sea. A further 61 blocks are currently under environmental assessment, which will have to be completed before any offer is made.
The 27th Licensing Round was announced on 1 February 2012 with an application deadline of 1 May 2012. In May 2012, DECC announced the 27th Licensing Round had received a record 224 applications, covering 418 blocks on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS). This was the highest number of applications ever received and 37 more than the previous high in the 26th Licensing Round.