Germany’s oil company Wintershall is continuing its growth course in northern Europe: in the current licensing round APA 2012 (awards in pre-defined areas), the Norwegian petroleum and energy ministry has awarded three new licenses in the North Sea to the BASF subsidiary. Wintershall will be the operator for all three licenses.
Martin Bachmann, the member of the Wintershall Board of Executive Directors responsible for exploration and production, also sees this licensing awarding as confirmation of the company’s strategy: “We have invested a great deal in expanding our activities in Norway in the last few years – the result is our own exploration discoveries as well as the recent asset swap with Statoil, in which Wintershall has agreed to acquire shares in three producing fields.”
Wintershall now holds 43 licenses in Norway, 24 of these as operator. This doesn’t include the new licenses yet, since the official awarding of the licenses will take place later this year.
As such, the oil and gas company is one of the largest license-holders on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.
“The Norwegian petroleum and energy ministry has assigned us three interesting licenses. We have set ourselves ambitious targets for 2013. Our strong license portfolio will hopefully give us even more exploration success,” says Bernd Schrimpf, Managing Director of Wintershall Norge AS.
At the same time, the company is pushing ahead with the development projects Maria, Knarr and Edvard Grieg. The appraisal well Skarfjell North aims to specify more precisely the original estimates of the resources in the first half of the year. The Skarfjell discovery from April 2012 is estimated to have between 60 and 160 million barrels of recoverable oil.
In addition to the operatorship in area PL 683 in the Norwegian North Sea, in which Wintershall has a share of 60 percent, the company will also take over operatorship of licenses PL 678 S (35%) and PL 509 BS (40%). License PL 509 BS extends the Wintershall- operated license PL 509 S held since 2009.
The Norwegian ministry of petroleum and energy has assigned 51 licenses in total to 40 companies as part of the 2012 licensing round. Most of the licenses awarded lie in the Norwegian part of the North Sea (34 licenses). Another 14 permits were issued for the Norwegian Sea and three for the Barents Sea. Overall, 47 companies took part in the bidding process, which has now been completed – 23 of them were awarded operatorships. Hence, more companies took part in the APA 2012 licensing round than ever before. The overall APA area was expanded to 196,625 square kilometers. This represents an increase in the surface area of 10,325 square kilometers.
New Wintershall licenses APA 2012 in the Norwegian North Sea:
PL 509 BS (40%, operator)
PL 678 (35%, operator)
PL 683 (60%, operator)
January 20, 2013