Norwegian oil company Statoil has delivered its application for the 23rd licensing round on the Norwegian continental shelf to the Norwegian authorities. The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy is expected to announce the awards late first half of 2016.
The round represents the first opening of new acreage on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) since 1994. As part of the twenty-third licensing round fifty-seven blocks/parts of blocks are being offerd, of which three are in the Norwegian Sea and 54 in the Barents Sea.
Statoil’s application aims to significantly contribute to the company’s ambition for 2030 and beyond, the company said in the statement on Thursday.
The acreage that is offered in this round includes the south-east of the Barents Sea, which is an area that was clarified as Norwegian territory under the border agreement with Russia that came into effect from 2011. In addition acreage in the Hoop-Wisting area, opened in the 22nd round, is on offer.
“Statoil has been the guarantor for exploration and development in the Barents Sea since the mid-1980s and we have a clear ambition to remain in that role. The acreage offered is interesting and important and we hope we will earn the opportunity to drill as early as in 2017,” says Jez Averty, senior vice president Exploration Norway.
“Acreage in the 23rd round has significant volume potential, but never-the-less there is a debate where some say that these resources will not be commercial. We believe otherwise and our application is proof enough of that. Statoil’s preparations for our 23rd round application have included developing technology solutions that will reduce the break-even price per barrel for the significant discoveries we hope to make in the Barents Sea.”
In 2014, Statoil was the operator for a group of 33 companies cooperating on seismic surveys in areas included in the licensing round. The NCS is the backbone of Statoil and Statoil has an ambition to maintain production at current levels through to 2025-2030 and beyond.