British oil company BP has won license interests in seven offshore exploration blocks in the UK North Sea.
The company was awared the license interests in the UK's 26th Seaward Licencing Round.
The awards - five blocks operated by BP and two blocks operated by a partner - together represent the largest license award BP has received in the UK for more than a decade.
BP regional president for North Sea Trevor Garlick said that these license awards are a significant success for BP and a further boost to the long-term future of its North Sea business.
"With six major projects currently underway in the UK and Norwegian sectors, BP is investing strongly in the North Sea to develop today's resource base and we are also building a complementary portfolio of future opportunities," Garlick said.
BP said that the awards, made by the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change, support its focused program of exploration and appraisal in the North Sea.
The strategy is based on developing new fields, which can be tied in to the company's existing infrastructure hubs.