STAVANGER -- The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) has issued offers for 34 new production licenses on the Norwegian continental shelf. The offers have been issued subsequent to the authorities' consideration of applications submitted by 47 companies in the Awards in Predefined Areas (APA) 2008.
The deadline for the companies to respond is Jan. 9, 2009.
Twenty-one of the 34 production licenses are located in the North Sea, 11 are in the Norwegian Sea, and two are in the Barents Sea.
Eight of the production licenses are additional acreage in existing production licenses. Three of these border on discoveries/fields. Forty companies will receive offers of participating interests. Five of these are new players. Nineteen companies will receive offers of operatorships and one of these, Lotos, has not previously been an operator on the Norwegian shelf.
Obligations are linked to the offers being extended. The authorities assume that nine firm wells will be drilled. Six of these will be drilled in the North Sea (Det norske: 3, StatoilHydro: 1, Marathon: 1, Lundin:1). One well will be drilled in the Norwegian Sea (Wintershall) and two will be drilled in the Barents Sea (DONG).
Up to 21 production licenses have "drill or drop" clauses. This means that the licensees have from one to three years to decide whether they want to drill a well. If the drilling is not undertaken, the production license will lapse.
Acquisition of seismic data is a requirement in seven areas.
APA 2008 includes an offer for production license number 500 on the Norwegian shelf. This license comprises parts of block 16/1 in the North Sea, which has been offered to Det norske oljeselskap ASA (operator, 35%), Skeie Energy AS (35%), and Spring Energy Norway AS (30%).