OSLO, Norway – The 24th Norwegian offshore licensing round drew applications from 11 companies, according to the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD).
On offer were 102 blocks or part-blocks, comprising nine in the Norwegian Sea and 93 in the Barents Sea.
“The oil companies nominated many areas in this round, and the authorities have listened and responded with an extensive announcement,” said Torgeir Stordal, the NPD’s exploration director.
Acreage in the northwestern part of the Barents Sea attracted particular interest.
“In this round, the announced blocks are mostly in frontier areas,” Stordal said. “We see that the list of applicants is dominated by large and medium-sized companies with good technical and financial capacity to conduct exploration in such areas.”
Twenty-six companies applied for production licenses in the 23rd licensing round, and the more muted response this time may have been influenced by disappointing results fromwildcat wells in the Barents Sea in 2017.
However, the NPD pointed out that the response to the APA 2017 round earlier this year was strong, with 39 companies delivering a record-breaking number of applications.
This could indicate that some parties are prioritizing exploration in mature areas, the NPD added.
Those that applied for licenses in the 24th round just closed were:
- A/S Norske Shell
- Aker BP
- Centrica Resources (Norge)
- DEA Norge
- Idemitsu Petroleum Norge
- KUFPEC Norway
- Lundin Norway
- OMV (Norge)
- RN Nordic Oil
- Statoil Petroleum
- Wintershall Norge
The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy expects to announce the award winners before next summer.