Holdings in 11 new production licenses have been awarded to Statoil (NYSE:STO) in the 21st licensing round on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS), which was announced by the government today, April 15.
The group received eight new operatorships, with four of these in the Barents Sea and four in the Norwegian Sea.
“We are very pleased with the award of new acreage in the Barents and Norwegian Seas,” says Gro Gunleiksrud Haatvedt, senior vice president for exploration on the NCS.
“I’d particularly highlight the operatorship/acreage in the Hoop area. Future exploration there is important for us with an eye to the total potential of this Barents Sea province.”
The group was awarded the operatorship for production licences (PL) 614 and 615 in the Hoop area, which lies about 200 kilometres north-east of the Skrugard discovery. This was its first priority in the 21st round.
Statoil has also secured the operatorship for PL 608 and a stake in PL 605, both close to the promising Skrugard/Sverdrup discovery.
The group is also very satisfied with the award of deepwater acreage in the Norwegian Sea, with PLs 602, 603 and 604 close to the Luva area. They could contribute important extra resources.
Haatvedt says that the awards strengthen Statoil’s ambition to intensify exploration activity in these parts of the NCS.
She also emphasises that the government’s allocations through ordinary licence rounds every other year and the annual awards in predefined areas (APA) process are important for activity.
“The oil companies need access to good exploration acreage in order to make new discoveries,” Haatvedt observes. “We depend on this predictable government licensing policy.”