The latest offshore licensing round for the North Sea has been significant in the number of smaller new players bidding for blocks, a move that appears all the more significant as big players such as Total are putting all their North Sea assets up for sale. We find out whether North Sea exploration could see new era of small companies dominating the market.

We also investigate what difference Nigeria’s long-delayed new petroleum bill will make for companies operating in the country, check in on Norway’s offshore strike, which has seen workers and the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association clash over wages and pensions, and find out how the America Petroleum Institute’s Explore Offshore campaign is trying to tackle opposition to drilling in coastal southeastern states.

Plus, we hear from the University of Aberdeen about its world-first Master’s course in decommissioning, which the institution hopes will position it as the North Sea’s foremost training centre for the next generation of decommissioning specialists, and take a closer look at some of the innovations extending the life and worth of offshore oil projects.

Katie Woodward, editor

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