The Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy on Tuesday, May 2, 2017, announced this year’s licensing round for mature areas on the Norwegian continental shelf – Awards in Predefined Areas (APA) 2017 – with blocks in the North Sea, the Norwegian Sea, and the Barents Sea.
The Ministry said on Tuesday that, in the APA 2017 round, the predefined area has been expanded by in total 87 blocks, 34 blocks in the Norwegian Sea and 53 blocks in the Barents Sea. The expansion includes blocks west in the Norwegian Sea and areas around Wisting, Alta and Gohta in the Barents Sea.
Also, applications can be submitted for any blocks or parts of blocks within the predefined areas that are not already included in a license three months before the closing date for application.
This entails relinquished acreage which is regarded as announced at the time of the approved relinquishment. That acreage will be included consecutively within the predefined areas.
“Providing oil companies with new exploration opportunities at a predictable and high pace is a cornerstone of the government’s petroleum policy. The expansion of the APA area for 2017 is the second largest ever and the largest in the Barents Sea,” said Terje Søviknes, the Minister of Petroleum and Energy.
“The announcement of APA 2017 shows that we are following up on the government’s petroleum policy and maritime strategy. The expansion will contribute to increased employment and value creation from our offshore areas.”
The Ministry added that the application deadline for APA 2017 is 12:00 AM CET on September 1, 2017. The awards will be announced during the first quarter of 2018.