Norway’s Ministry of Petroleum and Energy has received applications from 38 companies for new exploration acreage in the Awards in Predefined Areas (APA) 2018 offshore licensing round.
The Ministry said last Friday that the APA 2018 application period was closed on September 4, 2018.
The APA 2018 was announced on May 9, 2018, and it is expected that the new production licenses would be awarded at the beginning of 2019.
The recently appointed Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Kjell Børge Freiberg, said: “The fact that the oil companies show such high interest in exploration on the Norwegian Continental Shelf is important for future value-creation, employment, and state revenue from Norway’s largest and most important industry.
“I am therefore very pleased that we also this year have received a large number of applications from a broad range of companies.”
According to the Ministry, the 38 companies constitute a broad variety of companies and range from the large international companies to the mid-sized companies and the smaller exploration companies. The Ministry added that both the number of applicant companies and the total number of applications were almost as high as in last year’s record-breaking licensing round.
“The predefined area was significantly expanded in both the Norwegian Sea and the Barents Sea during the preparation for this year’s licensing round. Interesting applications have been received both in the new expansions as well as in the previously announced APA-areas,” the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy said.
Over 200,000 square kilometres available
In a separate statement, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) said that the companies could apply for a total of 209,820 square kilometers, while in comparison 139,942 square kilometers were available in last year’s APA round.
NPD’s exploration director, Torgeir Stordal, said: “There was a record level of interest last year as regards the number of applications. It is good to see that there is about the same interest in this year’s APA.”
The NPD noted that the authorities received applications from companies both new to the NCS as well as those already active in the region.
Also, while interest is greatest in the North Sea and the Norwegian Sea, the amount of interest in the Barents Sea in an APA 2018 round is the second-largest in history, with only 2007 being the more popular round for the Barents Sea.
The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate added that it would start the work of evaluating the applications.
The 38 companies that applied in APA 2018 were: Chrysaor, Concedo, ConocoPhillips, DEA Norge, DNO, Dyas, Edison, Eni, Equinor, Faroe Petroleum, Idemitsu Petroleum, Ineos, Inpex, Lime Petroleum, Lundin, M Vest Energy, MOL, Neptune Energy, OKEA, OMV, Pandion Energy, Petrolia NOCO, PGNiG Upstream, Point Resources, Repsol, RN Nordic Oil, Skagen44, Shell, Source Energy, Spirit Energy, Suncor Energy, Total, Tyr Exploration, VNG Norge, Wellesley, Wintershall, Aker BP, Capricorn.