The Norwegian authorities on Friday received all the applications for Awards in Predefined Areas 2012 (APA 2012). A preliminary count indicates that 47 companies have applied for acreage.
This result shows that there is still considerable interest in new acreage and previously awarded and explored areas in predefined areas in the North Sea, the Norwegian Sea and the Barents Sea. There are as many applicants as the record year of 2008, and there are three new companies among the applicants this year.
“The APA scheme contributes to sound resource management, and there is great interest among the oil companies. We see that there is competition for acreage that has been awarded and relinquished several times previously,” says Sissel Eriksen, the NPD’s director for exploration.
Proximity to existing facilities means that development of small discoveries is both more profitable and faster than developments in less mature areas of the shelf. High oil prices in recent years also contributes significantly to a high level of exploration activity, which resulted in important discoveries as seen in recent years.
When the application deadline expired on 6 September, it was possible to apply for a total of 107 940 square kilometres divided among 388 blocks or parts of blocks. Large amounts of acreage are relinquished each year within the APA-area, and are included in the area the companies can apply for.
In APA 2011, the authorities received applications from 43 companies for acreage totalling 108 430 square kilometres. Of this, 21 372 square kilometres was awarded in early 2012.
The APA scheme contributes to better and faster exploration of mature areas on the Norwegian shelf. New players with new ideas and exploration targets have yielded more new discoveries in mature areas of the Norwegian shelf. The scheme ensures that the industry has regular access to prospective acreage, and that acreage is relinquished and made available to new players in a timely manner.
Press Release, September 9, 2012