The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy has received proposals from 37 companies regarding blocks which the companies wish to see included in the 22nd licensing round. A total of 228 blocks and partial blocks have been nominated in the 22nd licensing round, 107 of which were nominated by two or more companies. Some 181 blocks in the Barents Sea have been nominated, the highest-ever number.
“In this round of nominations, particular interest has been shown in our northernmost sea areas, confirming that the Barents Sea is an exciting and internationally attractive petroleum province. This represents major opportunities for the entire region. Exploration in all of the areas which have been opened up is also very important for ensuring further activity, employment and ripple effects throughout Norway”, says Minister of Petroleum and Energy Ola Borten Moe.
The oil companies have now submitted their views regarding which blocks they consider interesting. The period leading up to the announcement of blocks will be used to draw up a list of blocks which may potentially be included in the announcement. The list will be the subject of a public consultation during which all public interest bodies will be invited to comment. The government will then undertake a holistic evaluation before deciding which blocks will be included in the announcement.
The companies were invited to nominate blocks on 2 November 2011, with a submission deadline of 11 January 2012. In line with the practice adopted in recent rounds, the companies were encouraged to limit the number of nominated blocks to 15. This was done to ensure a focus on the blocks which the companies consider to be most interesting.
All public interest bodies were invited to submit their comments in connection with the nomination process. The intention is to announce the 22nd licensing round before the summer, while the award of new production licences is planned for the spring of 2013.
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Offshore Energy Today Staff, January 24, 2012