OSLO, Norway -- Forty three oil companies have nominated blocks for inclusion in Norway’s 21st licensing round, according to the Ministry of Petroleum Energy.
A total of 307 blocks or part-blocks were nominated by the deadline of Jan.13, with 138 blocks proposed by two or more companies. In line with the procedure for previous licensing rounds, applicants were to limit the number of nominations to the 15 blocks they considered most interesting.
The Ministry expects to announce the areas on offer before this summer, leading to license awards in spring 2011.
Early last week, the Ministry issued the results of its Awards in Pre-defined Areas (APA) round for 2009 following applications from 44 companies. Thirty-eight new production licenses were granted, comprising 25 in the North Sea, 10 in the Norwegian Sea, and three in the Barents Sea.
Twelve of the new licenses constitute additional acreage to existing production permits. Five are close to discoveries, while seven – all in the North Sea – are delineated stratigraphically and only apply to levels below/above a defined stratigraphic limit.
Nineteen companies were awarded operatorships – among these, US company Bridge Energy and Spain’s Repsol have not previously operated on the Norwegian shelf. Repsol’s license is in the North Sea, where it is partnered by Italy’s Edison and Norway’s Skagen.
Statoil and Det norske oljeselskap both picked up six new operatorships. Among the non-Norwegian contingent, the most successful were Marathon Petroleum and Wintershall with three operatorships each.
There are conditions in certain cases. Three of the North Sea licenses, operated by Statoil, Noreco, and Lundin Petrokeum, each entail firm well commitments. Sixteen of the licenses carry three-year drill or relinquish terms, while seismic data acquisition requirements have been imposed in seven areas.
Nominations closed for Norway's 21st round
Forty three oil companies have nominated blocks for inclusion in Norway’s 21st licensing round, according to the Ministry of Petroleum Energy.