REYKJAVIK, Iceland – The National Energy Authority of Iceland (NEA) has unveiled the second round for hydrocarbon exploration and production licenses on the Icelandic continental shelf. Bids will be invited through April 2, 2012.
The blocks on offer are in the Dreki Area, northeast of Iceland, from 67°00'N to 68°30'N and 11°30'W to 6°20'W, and cover an area of 42,700 sq km (16,486 sq mi). Water depths range mostly from 800-2,000 m (2,625-6,562 ft).
The Dreki Area is part of the Jan Mayen Ridge micro-continent, thought to have separated from the continental shelf of Greenland and Norway via plate tectonic movements 45-60 million years ago.
NEA says seismic surveys and other geophysical measurements indicate that oil and gas could present, although further investigations, including exploratory drilling, would be needed to verify this.
A Strategic Environmental Assessment of the Dreki Area, and research on the marine biosphere, climate and sea conditions, suggest there is no danger of sea ice and wave heights are lower than off Norway’s west coast of Norway.
Full details, including licensing and fiscal terms, are available at:
http://www.nea.is/2nd-licensing-round, or in the Icelandic Continental Shelf Portal.
NEA has already granted a prospecting license to TGS-NOPEC Geophysical Co. in the northern part of the Dreki Area.
The license, valid through Sept. 8, 2012, gives authorization to collect surface samples from the sea floor in the license area, and to acquire echo sounding measurements as preparation for the sampling.