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The Danish Energy Agency (DEA) reported record interest from oil and gas companies in the upcoming licensing round for blocks in the North Sea.

The DEA received 25 applications from 15 oil companies, a record high for the country.

Many of the applicants for this round have never held licenses in Denmark, the DEA said.

The application deadline for Denmark’s seventh licensing round expired on Wednesday.

The licensing round was opened on April 24.

All unlicensed areas in the Central Graben, where the majority of Danish fields have been discovered, are being offered during the round as well as areas further to the east, where oil discoveries were made in the sixth licensing round.

The DEA will be processing the applications during the next few months and licences are expected to be issued at the beginning of 2015.

“I look forward to the future licences leading to new commercial discoveries that can secure the greatest possible revenue from the North Sea for Danish society,” Minister for Climate, Energy and Building Rasmus Helveg Petersen said.

Denmark’s oil output fell by 13 percent in 2013 from the previous year while its gas output fell 16 percent, according to the DEA.

In 2013 oil production fell 175,517 barrels a day from 202,089 barrels per day from the previous year.

Gas production in 2013 was down to 4.7 billion cubic meters from 5.6 billion cubic meters in 2012.

The DEA expects output to fall again in 2014 primarily due to maturing fields and technical problems that caused unexpected outages.

Output is expected to further decline from 2014 to 2018.

However, the DEA said it believes there are still large untapped oil and gas reserves in the North Sea that can boost the country’s output.