Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy on Thursday, March 17, 2016, announced this year’s licensing round, the APA 2016, comprising the predefined areas with blocks in the North Sea, the Norwegian Sea and the Barents Sea.
According to the ministry, in the APA 2016 round, the predefined area has been expanded by 24 blocks in the Norwegian Sea and 32 blocks in the Barents Sea. Several blocks are located around the Hansteen field in the Norwegian Sea.
In the Barents Sea the blocks are mainly located in the area around the discoveries Castberg, Alta and Gotha. Additional resources in the area surrounding a planned or producing field may increase profitability, optimize utilization of resources and value creation from the petroleum resources.
The application deadline for APA 2016 is 12:00 a.m. hrs on Tuesday, September 6, 2016. The awards will be announced during the first quarter of 2017.
Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Tord Lien, said: “Awarding prospective exploration acreage is a central element in the Government’s policies. Our licensing policy promotes effective resource management, high value creation and employment. These are all-important factors, particularly in light of the challenging situation in the industry.”
According to the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD), applications can be submitted for any blocks or parts of blocks within the predefined areas that are not already included in a licence three months before the closing date for application.
This entails that acreage which is relinquished in the application period is regarded as announced at the time of governmental approved relinquishment.