Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy is awarding on Monday 12 new licenses in 47 blocks on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. Nine of the licenses are located in the Barents Sea, while three are located in the Norwegian Sea.
The Norwegian Government announced the 24th licensing round on June 21, 2017.
The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy announced 102 blocks/parts of blocks, of which 9 were in the Norwegian Sea and 93 in the Barents Sea. Nearly half of this acreage is now included in the offers issued on Monday; all 9 blocks in the Norwegian Sea and 38 blocks in the Barents Sea.
On Monday, June 18, 2018, the Norwegian government revealed the results of this licensing round. Namely, 11 companies are offered participating interest. Six of them are offered operatorships. The licenses are awarded on the condition that the companies commit themselves to a work program for the coming exploration activity.
Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Terje Søviknes, commented: “Offering new acreage for exploration is a vital part of the Government’s petroleum policy. Through the 24th licensing round, additional promising acreage will be explored, thereby making new discoveries possible. This licensing round confirms that the oil companies see opportunities for further profitable petroleum activity in the north.”
Following up on the Government’s political platform, the Jeløya platform, an additional condition will apply to two licenses close to the Bear Island (Bjørnøya). This condition, which was not part of the announcement of the 24th licensing round, states that exploration drilling in oil bearing layers cannot take place between April 1 until August 15.
Minister Søviknes added: “The petroleum industry is Norway’s largest and most important industry. By maintaining a predictable, stable and long term petroleum policy, the Government lies the foundation for the industry to develop further. This is vital for Norwegian jobs, competitiveness and our welfare.”
The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) Director Exploration, Torgeir Stordal, said: “Our analyses show that the largest undiscovered resource potential on the Norwegian Continental Shelf is in the Barents Sea. We also believe that this is the area on the Shelf most likely to deliver large discoveries”
The following companies have been awarded operatorships: A/S Norske Shell (one license); AkerBP ASA (2); Equinor Energy AS (5); Lundin Norway AS (1); OMV (Norway) AS (1); Spirit Energy Norge AS (2).
Licensees with number of shares (including operatorships) in brackets: A/S Norske Shell (1); AkerBP ASA (6); DEA Norge AS (2); Equinor Energy AS (7); Idemitsu Petroleum Norge AS (1); Lundin Norway AS (3); M Vest Energy AS (1); OMV (Norway) AS (1); Spirit Energy Norge AS (4); VNG Norge AS (1); Wintershall Norge AS (1).