The UK has opened a new licensing round for companies to explore for oil and gas in the North Sea, reports BBC News, which adds that the “decision is at odds with international climate scientists who say fossil fuel projects should be closed down, not expanded”. Nearly 900 locations are being offered for exploration, with as many as 100 licences set to be awarded, the outlet explains: “The licensing process will be fast-tracked in parts of the North Sea that are near existing infrastructure and so have the potential to be developed quickly, according to the North Sea Transition Authority. It says the average time between discovery and first production is close to five years but that gap is shrinking.”

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