The Norwegian Government has decided to offer 60 production licenses in the Awards in Predefined Areas round for 2011 (APA 2011).
– Today, I am offering participation interests in production licenses to 42 companies. Twenty-seven of these companies are being offered operatorships. APA 2011 is the most extensive licensing round ever undertaken on the Norwegian continental shelf, in terms of both the number of companies and the number of production licenses awarded. The new production licenses are widely scattered within the announced sea areas. The variety of areas of interest for exploration illustrates the varying views of the companies. The Government extended the APA area by 23,500 km2 in 2011, and I am very pleased to be able to offer new production licenses in these areas, says Minister of Petroleum and Energy Ola Borten Moe.
The 60 production licenses are split between the North Sea (34), the Norwegian Sea (22) and the Barents Sea (4). A total of 43 companies applied for production licenses in the APA 2011 round.
The APA licensing rounds cover mature areas of the Norwegian continental shelf. Mature areas are the most explored areas on the shelf, and have a known geology. The main challenge in mature areas is that the expected sizes of discoveries are declining. Small discoveries often do not justify a stand-alone development, but can be profitable with a tie-in. Hence, it is important to discover and develop resources in these areas before existing infrastructure is shut down.
Offshore Energy Today Staff, January 17, 2012; Image: NPD