OSLO, Norway – Applications for Norway’s latest Awards in Pre-Defined Areas (APA) licensing round are the highest since the scheme started in 2003.
At the application deadline of Sept. 1 forAPA 2017, 39 companies had submitted applications for new acreage in mature areas of the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS).
The number of applications was 20% higher than the previous record, for APA 2014, and more than 50% up on last year’s tally, according to the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy.
“I am very happy that such a diverse group of companies has delivered a record number of applications for new exploration acreage,” said Petroleum and Energy Minister Terje Søviknes.
Among the bidders were various newly established companies with no prior record on the NCS. According to the Ministry, this year’s APA area was enlarged in both the Norwegian Sea and the Barents Sea.
“The record high interest confirms that the oil companies see opportunities on the Norwegian continental shelf,” Søviknes added. “This shows that the government's petroleum policy has the desired effect...Stable framework conditions are an important part of this picture.”
Companies that applied are:
A/S Norske Shell, Aker BP, Bayerngas Norge, Capricorn Norge, Centrica Resources (Norge), Concedo, ConocoPhillips Skandinavia, DEA Norge, DNO Norge, Dong E&P Norge, ENGIE E&P Norge, ENI Norge, ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Norway, Faroe Petroleum Norge, Fortis Petroleum Norway, Idemitsu Petroleum Norge, INPEX Norge, Kufpec Norway, Lime Petroleum, Lotos Exploration & Production Norge, Lundin Norway, Maersk Norge, Vest Energy, MOL Norge, OKEA, OMV (Norge), Pandion Energy, Petrolia NOCO, PGNiG Upstream Norway, Point Resources, Repsol Norge, Skagen 44, Statoil Petroleum, Suncor Energy Norge, Total E&P Norge, Tyr Exploration, VNG Norge, Wellesley Petroleum, and Wintershall Norge.
Torgeir Stordal, exploration director at theNorwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD), said: “It is very important that additional resources near existing infrastructure are identified in time, and it is good to see that the companies are prioritizing this...”
“A lot of new seismic has been acquired in recent years, which has contributed to an improved understanding of the subsurface. At the same time, cost reductions have contributed to improved profitability in the projects.”
The NPD’s evaluation process will take into account the applicants’ geological solutions and strategy for exploring the areas. Awards should follow early next year.