The Norwegian government on Tuesday, January 17 informed that offers for 56 new production licenses on the Norwegian continental shelf will be sent to 29 companies.
The offers are made following the authorities’ assessment of applications from 33 companies in the Awards in Predefined Areas (APA) 2016.
Norway’s new Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Terje Søviknes, said: “I am proud to offer a large and diverse group of oil companies participating interests in 56 new production licenses in our best known exploration areas. This illustrates how many companies see significant, long-term business-opportunities in the petroleum resources on the Norwegian Continental Shelf, and that this government’s policies work as intended.”
The 56 exploration licenses are located in the North Sea (36), the Norwegian Sea (17) and the Barents Sea (3). A total of 33 companies applied for production licenses in the APA 2016 licensing round and 29 different oil-companies will be offered awards in one or more license, and 17 of these will be offered one or more operatorships.
“A predictable and high level of new acreage awards is a key element of our petroleum policy. The APA 2016 is an important contribution to secure future employment, value creation and state revenues from our by far largest and most important industry,” Minister Søviknes continues.
The APA licensing rounds cover the most explored areas on the Norwegian shelf. One of the primary challenges in mature areas is the expected decline in discovery size. Minor discoveries will not be able to support stand-alone developments, but may have good profitability when they can exploit existing and planned processing equipment and transportation systems, or be seen jointly with other discoveries or planned developments. Therefore, timely discovery and exploitation of such resources is important.
The APA rounds start with an assessment of potential APA-area expansion. For APA 2016, an area-expansion proposal was sent out on public consultation with deadline January 8, 2016. The licensing round was subsequently announced March 17, 2016, with application deadline on September 6, 2016. Once the companies have accepted the offers made to them, final awards will be made by the King in council.
The licenses were awarded to 17 operators (Number of operatorships in brackets):
Aker BP (13)