Norwegian license winners outline prospects, work plans

Statoil has issued details of its new licenses under Norway’s Awards in Predefined Areas 2014 (APA 2014) Round.

Offshore staff

STAVANGER, Norway – Statoil has issued details of its new licenses under Norway’s Awards in Predefined Areas 2014 (APA 2014) Round.

The company gained interests in 15 licenses, eight as operator. In theNorth Sea, the company was awarded:

  • 80% ownership and operatorship in license PL783 and 20% ownership in PL782S west of Balder. This is new acreage with potential for significant volumes of hydrocarbons on the eastern flank of the South Viking Graben in an oil-prone area, and includes one stand-out prospect. The license is split stratigraphically and limited upward by the Base Cretaceous.
  • 50% ownership and operatorship in PL772, new acreage in a prolific area north of the company’sKing Lear discovery.
  • 51% ownership and operatorship in license extension PL025B.
  • 30% ownership in license extension PL044C.
  • 62% ownership and operatorship in license extension PL046E.
  • 50% ownership and operatorship in license extension PL072E.

In the Norwegian Sea, Statoil secured:

  • 40% ownership and operatorship in PL794 and 20% ownership in PL795, both close to the Njord field with prospectivity in various play models.
  • 40% ownership and operatorship in PL796, a new license east of Mikkel. Statoil says adding acreage around Njord and Mikkel is important for feeding existing infrastructure with new volumes as tie-in developments. It also sees significant upside potential in the area.
  • 20% ownership in PL798 and PL799, promising gas prone acreage west ofSkarv with follow-up possibilities.
  • 42% ownership and operatorship in license extension PL159E.
  • 50% ownership in license extension PL127B.

In the Barents Sea, Statoil picked up 50% ownership in PL803, a new license in the Tromsø basin.

Eni Norge was awarded shares in two new licenses. The company will operate PL 806 in the Barents Sea, in partnership with E.ON E&P, Edison International, and Petoro. Eni will partner with Statoil, Total, and operator ConocoPhillips in PL 044 C in the North Sea.

Wintershall netted stakes in eight new exploration licenses. Seven are in the North Sea: PL788 (operator), PL678 C (operator), PL777, PL776, PL373 BS, and PL787. The company will operate PL804 in the Barents Sea.

Lundin Norway has interests in six new licenses in the North Sea, one in the Norwegian Sea, and one license in the Barents Sea. Six of the awarded licenses will be operated by Lundin Petroleum.

These are as follows:  


Lundin Norway AS license interest

PL778 (block 15/6) in the central North Sea

40%, operator

PL779 (block 16/1) in the central North Sea


PL674CS (block 26/10) in the central North Sea

35%, operator

PL678C (blocks 25/3, 6) in the central North Sea


PL579B (block 33/5) in the northern North Sea

50%, operator

PL789 (blocks 33/5, 6) in the northern North Sea

40%, operator

PL700B (block 6407/10) in the Norwegian Sea

40%, operator

PL805 (blocks 7120/2, 3 and 7121/1) in the Barents Sea

40%, operator

Det norske oljeselskap’s tally is nine new licenses, including two as operator. Eight of the permits are in the North Sea while the other is in the Barents Sea.

E.ON E&P won interests in 12 new licenses, the company’s biggest return to date from any Norwegian licensing round. The company will operate in three cases. Seven of the licenses are in the North Sea, three in the Norwegian Sea, and two in the Barents Sea.

Faroe Petroleum gained shares in five licenses, including one as operator.

In the Norwegian Sea, three of the licenses are in the area surrounding the E.ON-operated Pil and Bue discoveries, where Faroe is already a partner:

  • PL793 Portrush – blocks 6407/7, 8, 10, and 11 (A/S Norske Shell operator) includes Portrush, thought to be an analogue to the Boomerang Prospect that E.ON plans to drill this summer. The main prospect at Portrush is an Upper Jurassic sandstone wedge along the main basin bounding fault. The work program includes licensing of 3D seismic data.
  • PL794 Rosapenna – blocks 6407/7 and 6407/10 (Statoil operator). Rosapenna is another direct analogue to the Boomerang Prospect. The work program again includes licensing of 3D seismic.
  • PL792 Slynge – blocks 6306/2 (Centrica operator). This area is immediately south of the PL586 Pil license with a structural setting analogous to Pil and Boomerang. Commitments include 3D seismic.

In the North Sea, Faroe’s two awards are as follows:

  • PL676BS Firkløver extension (Faroe 40% and operator). The location is east and southeast of PL676 S, awarded in the 2012 APA round. The extension will include updip areas of the Krembanan prospect. The partners will complete technical studies already initiated in PL676S.
  • PL627B Shango Extension – (Total operator). This acreage is north of the PL627 license area and covers the northern extension of the Shango prospect, due to be drilled in the first half of this year 2015. There is no incremental work program.

Atlantic Petroleum Norge was awarded stakes in two licenses in the Norwegian Sea, both with prospects close to proven hydrocarbon accumulations.

PL 796 (part blocks 6407/3, 6407/5 and 6407/6) is on the Halten Terrace, and surrounds the Mikkel field. Here 3D seismic has been applied, with the main prospectivity identified in Upper Jurassic sandstones. The license includes the 6407/5-2 S discovery which has since been re-evaluated. The partners, led by Statoil, will acquire and assess 3D data over prospective areas, and must take a drill-or-drop decision after two years. A potential well has to be drilled within four years of the award date.

PL 802 Ganske, part-blocks block 6705/11 and 6705/12, is in the Vøring basin, immediately east of the undeveloped Asterix gas discovery. Existing 2D and 3D seismic have been used to map the area, with the main prospectivity pinpointed in Upper Cretaceous sandstones similar to that encountered in the Asterix well. The partners, led by Repsol, will undertake a geological and geophysical evaluation of the license based on existing data, leading to a drill-or-drop decision within the first two years, again with a mandatory well within four years of award.

Rocksource secured entry to two licenses in the North Sea. The company will operate PL 791 in the northern Norwegian North Sea. Phase one commitments comprise acquiring 3D seismic, with a drill-or-drop decision to be made within three years.

The company also partners with operator Tulllow Oil in PL 784, with a drill-or-drop decision within two years.

Cairn Energy subsidiary Capricorn Norge has non-operated interests in five licenses, none of which have well commitments. These include PL 788 (blocks 34/9 and 35/4, 5, 7, 8, 10) operated by Wintershall; PL787 (block 35/9) operated by Bayerngas; PL 790 (blocks 34/2, 5, operator Det norske); and PL 800 (6508/1, 2, operator EnQuest).

North Energy gained interests in two licenses. PL 805, covering blocks 7120/2, 7120/3 and 7121/1, is on the Lopp High in the Barents Sea, just east of the Gohta and Alta discoveries, and has 3D seismic coverage. The other license, PL 591 C covers block 6507/11 in the Norwegian Sea and represents an extension to an existing license. Here Tullow is the operator.


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