Norway awards new batch of licenses

Norway’s Energy Ministry has issued 50 new offshore production licenses to 39 companies under the Awards in Pre-defined Areas (APA) 2010 licensing round.

Offshore staff

OSLO, Norway -- Norway’s Energy Ministry has issued 50 new offshore production licenses to 39 companies under the Awards in Pre-defined Areas (APA) 2010 licensing round. Thirty-one of the licenses are in the North Sea, 17 in the Norwegian Sea, and two in the Barents Sea.

Eighteen of the concessions are add-on acreage for existing production licenses. Seven are adjacent to discoveries/fields, while six more are divided stratigraphically and only apply to levels below/above a defined stratigraphic boundary.

According to the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, 22 of the successful companies will be offered operatorships. Of these, Edison International and Spring Energy have not previously operated on the Norwegian shelf.

”The emergence of new operators is satisfying. It shows that the companies are developing and the number of players is increasing. It is important to explore the mature areas on the shelf thoroughly,” said NPD Exploration Director Sissel Eriksen.

The awards include a requirement for acquisition of new seismic data in six areas and for three fixed wells to be drilled. Of these, two are in the North Sea (operated by Statoil and Talisman) and one in the Norwegian Sea (Wintershall).

Other licenses carry “drill or drop” conditions lasting from one to three years.

APA 2010 was announced on Feb. 19, with a total area of 84,854 sq km (32,762 sq mi) on offer divided into 306 blocks. This was 30,000 sq km (11,583 sq mi) more than offered the year before.

Eriksen said the APA scheme leads to mature areas on the Norwegian shelf being explored more thoroughly and quickly. Discoveries have been made in around 40% of the 60-plus wells drilled on APA-awarded licenses, to date proving more than 180 MMcmoe of reserves.

Among the new award winners, Statoil picked up interests in 11 licenses, eight as operator. Six of the operatorships were in the North Sea, and most were close to Statoil’s existing infrastructure.

Spring Energy, a Norwegian independent, gained interests in five licenses, two as operator in the Norwegian Sea. Of these, PL591 covers blocks 6507/8, 9, and 11. According to partner Noreco, prospects here are in a Middle Jurassic Fangst Group play. The area comprises several mapped prospects and leads with a gross potential of over 100 MMboe.

Noreco was awarded two further licenses. PL348B covers an extension of Noreco’s PL348, containing the Gygrid discovery, and where it has identified further prospectivity. PL360B is next to PL360, and contains part of the Lupin prospect where an exploration well is due to be drilled this year.

Lundin Petroleum won one Norwegian Sea and five North Sea operatorships, including two in the Greater Luno area, where Lundin is expected to issue a development plan later this year.

One of Lundin’s concessions, according to partner Maersk Oil, is a geographical extension of PL501, containing the recent Avaldsnes discovery. Maersk said the extension will help the licensees (which include Statoil) to evaluate Avaldsnes and maintain alignment over the wider Avaldsnes area. Two appraisal wells are scheduled to be drilled by the partnership in 2011.

Faroe Petroleum secured positions in three new licenses in the Norwegian Sea. These include PL475CS, covering part-blocks 6406/3 and 6507/10, where Wintershall is the operator. This permit contains the northern and southern extensions to last year’s Maria oil discovery, and the Migra lead, south of Maria.

North of Maria and the Santana prospects is PL590, operated by North Energy (Faroe 30%), covering part-blocks 6507/7, 6507/10, and 6507/11. This area includes the Milagro prospect and other leads within the Grinda graben. All are potential tieback candidates to a Maria development. Here the work program will include seismic reprocessing and optional seismic acquisition.

Finally, Faroe gained 50% of PL592, operated by Centrica, covering part-block 6506/9, and located immediately north of the Fogelberg discovery in PL433. The area contains the Grayling prospect within Lower Cretaceous sands, analogous to the T-Rex prospect, which is due to be drilled this spring. A discovery in this license could be tied back to a Fogelberg development.

Det norske was offered stakes in eight licenses, three as operator, including two in the Norwegian Sea. Six of licenses are in the North Sea, and included expansion of the Dovregubben area.

The work programs for these licenses include one exploration well, operated by Talisman Energy, which will be drilled close to the Varg field. A discovery could be put quickly into production

Finally, Rocksource won five license awards. Among these were operatorship and 50 % ownership in PL 506 BS and PL 506 CS in the Stord basin.

PL 506 CS is a downward extension of PL 506 S from the base Tertiary to the base Cretaceous in block 26/5 and 26/8. PL 506 BS is a northward extension of PL 506 S, including block 26/2 down to the base Cretaceous.
Rocksource also gained operatorship of PL 588, immediately northeast of Norske Shell’s Draugen field in Norwegian Sea block 6407/9.

The full list of APA 2010 awards is as follows:
Operatorships:
Bridge Energy AS (1)
Centrica Resources (Norge) AS (1)
Dana Petroleum Norway AS (2)
Det norske oljeselskap ASA (3)
E.ON Ruhrgas Norge AS (1)
Edison International Norway Branch (2)
Idemitsu Petroleum Norge AS (2)
Lotos Exploration and Production Norge AS (1)
Lundin Norway AS (6)
Marathon Petroleum Norge AS (1)
Nexen Exploration Norge AS (2)
North Energy ASA (1)
Petro Canada Norge AS (2)
Premier Oil Norge AS (1)
Rocksource ASA (3)
RWE Dea Norge AS (1)
Spring Energy Norway AS (2)
Statoil Petroleum AS (8)
Talisman Energy Norge AS (1)
Total E&P Norge AS (1)
VNG Norge AS (2)
Wintershall Norge ASA (6)
Licencees:
(number of participating interests in brackets, including operatorships)
A/S Norske Shell (1)
Agora Oil & Gas AS (1)
Bayerngas Norge AS (6)
Bridge Energy AS (2)
Centrica Resources (Norge) AS (2)
Concedo ASA (4)
ConocoPhillips Skandinavia AS (1)
Dana Petroleum Norway AS (4)
Det norske oljeselskap ASA (8)
Dong E&P Norge AS (1)
E.ON Ruhrgas Norge AS (2)
Edison International Norway Branch (4)
ExxonMobil Exploration & Production Norway AS (1)
Faroe Petroleum Norge AS (3)
Front Exploration AS (2)
GDF SUEZ E&P Norge AS (4)
Idemitsu Petroleum Norge AS (3)
Lotos Exploration and Production Norge AS (1)
Lundin Norway AS (10)
Maersk Oil Norway AS (1)
Marathon Petroleum Norge AS (3)
Nexen Exploration Norge AS (2)
Norwegian Energy Company ASA (3)
North Energy ASA (4sea Energy AS)(5)
OMV (Norge) AS (1)
Petro-Canada Norge AS (2)
Premier Oil Norge AS (2)
Repsol Exploration Norge AS (1)
Rocksource ASA (5)
RWE Dea Norge AS (3)
Skagen44 AS (3)
Skeie Oil & Gas Norge AS (1)
Spring Energy Norway AS (5)
Statoil Petroleum AS (11)
Svenska Petroleum Exploration AS (2)
Talisman Energy Norge AS (4)
Total E&P Norge AS (4)
VNG Norge AS (5)
Wintershall Norge ASA (10 )

01/19/2011

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