Norway’s Ministry of Petroleum has announced a record application from 39 companies – six more than last year – for new acreage in mature areas on the Norwegian continental shelf as part of the awards in pre-defined areas (APA 2017).
The APA 2017 round included blocks in the North Sea, the Norwegian Sea, and the Barents Sea, was announced in May and the application deadline expired on September 1.
The Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy said applications received was more than 50 per cent higher than in last year’s APA-round, and approximately 20 per cent higher than the previous record received in APA 2014.
Diverse applications were received from large international companies, mid-size companies and smaller exploration companies. The Ministry said a number of newly established companies with no prior record on the NCS also applied for acreage in this year’s round.
The APA-area was significantly enlarged in both the Norwegian Sea and the Barents Sea for this year’s licensing round.
Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Terje Søviknes, said: “The record high interest confirms that the oil companies see opportunities on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. This shows that the government’s petroleum policy has the desired effect, which is vital to employment and to our revenue-stream from Norway’s most important industry in the decades to come.”
The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate’s new exploration director, Torgeir Stordal, cited several reasons why he believes companies are still interested in exploring in the most mature and explored parts of the Norwegian shelf: “A lot of new seismic has been acquired in recent years, which has contributed to an improved understanding of the subsurface. At the same time, cost reductions have contributed to improved profitability in the projects.”
The full list of companies that have applied includes: A/S Norske Shell; Aker BP; Bayerngas Norge; Capricorn Norge; Centrica Resources (Norge); Concedo; ConocoPhillips Skandinavia; DEA Norge; DNO Norge; Dong E&P Norge; ENGIE E&P Norge; ENI Norge; ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Norway; Faroe Petroleum Norge; Fortis Petroleum Norway; Idemitsu Petroleum Norge; INPEX Norge; Kufpec Norway; Lime Petroleum; Lotos Exploration & Production Norge; Lundin Norway; Maersk Norge; M Vest Energy; MOL Norge; OKEA AS OMV (Norge); Pandion Energy; Petrolia NOCO; PGNiG Upstream Norway; Point Resources; Repsol Norge; Skagen 44; Statoil Petroleum; Suncor Energy Norge; Total E&P Norge; Tyr Exploration; VNG Norge; Wellesley Petroleum; Wintershall Norge.
Applications will now be evaluated and the authorities will announce who have received licences in the new year.