OSLO, Norway -- Forty-one companies have applied for acreage under Norway’s 2010 Awards in Predefined Areas (APA 2010) licensing round, three less than for APA 2009, according to the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD).
Pre-defined areas were on offer in the North Sea, the Norwegian Sea, and the Barents Sea. NPD says around 30% more applications were received than for APA 2009.
“Mature areas on the Norwegian shelf are interesting, particularly for the smaller oil companies,” said Sissel Eriksen, NPD’s director for exploration. “Proximity to existing facilities allows faster and more profitable development of small discoveries compared with developments in less mature areas of the shelf. The high price of oil in recent years is also a major contributing factor to the high level of exploration activity.”
APA 2010 was announced on Feb. 19, with the application deadline closing on Sept. 15. Applicants were invited to bid for acreage totaling of 81,500 sq km (31,467 sq mi), spread over 302 blocks, a large increase compared with APA 2009.
This was due to expansion of the pre-defined areas in the Barents Sea and the Norwegian Sea by more than 22,600 sq km (8,726 sq mi) across a total of 63 blocks or part-blocks. Also, large tracts of acreage were relinquished within the APA 2009 area, which were re-included in this year’s round.
The APA scheme is designed to improve and speed up exploration of mature areas on the Norwegian shelf, to ensure that the industry has regular access to prospective acreage, and that acreage is turned over more quickly for potential new players. The government is also keen for resources discovered in these permits to be developed before existing production infrastructure is abandoned.
Companies that applied for production licenses are: A/S Norske Shell, Agora Oil & Gas AS, Bayerngas Norge AS, Bridge Energy Norge AS, Centrica Resources Norge AS, Concedo ASA, ConocoPhillips Scandinavia AS, Dana Petroleum Norway AS, Det norske oljeselskap ASA, Dong E&P Norge AS, E.ON Ruhrgas Norge AS, Edison International SpA - Norway Branch, ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Norway AS, Faroe Petroleum Norge AS, Fortis Petroleum Norway AS, Front Exploration AS, GDF SUEZ E&P Norge AS, Idemistu Petroleum Norge AS, LOTOS Exploration & Production Norge AS, Lundin Norway AS, Maersk Oil Norway AS, Marathon Petroleum Norge AS, Nexen Exploration Norge AS, North Energy ASA (4sea Energy AS), Norwegian Energy Company ASA, OMV (Norge) AS, Petro-Canada Norge AS, Premier Oil Norge AS, Repsol Exploration Norge AS, Rocksource ASA, RWE-Dea Norge AS, Sagex Petroleum Norge AS, Skagen44 AS, Skeie Energy AS, Spring Energy Norway AS, Statoil Petroleum AS, Svenska Petroleum Exploration AS, Talisman Energy Norge A/S, TOTAL E&P NORGE AS, VNG Norge AS, and Wintershall Norge ASA.