Strong interest in further exploration of the Norwegian continental shelf

Source:Ministry of Petroleum and Energy
Minister of Petroleum and Energy Ola Borten Moe

The Ministry is offering shares in 51 new production licences to 40 companies in connection with the 2012 Awards in Predefined Areas (APA 2012).

“Today, I am sending out offers linked to 51 new production licences for the Norwegian continental shelf. I am pleased to see strong, broad-based interest in the most well-known parts of the continental shelf. This year’s licensing round confirms that Norway’s combination of framework conditions and geological opportunities is internationally competitive,” says Minister of Petroleum and Energy Ola Borten Moe.

The 51 production licences are distributed among the North Sea (34), the Norwegian Sea (14) and the Barents Sea (3). In total, 47 companies applied for production licences in APA 2012. Forty different companies will be offered shares in one or more production licences. Twenty-three of these companies will be offered operatorships.

The APA licensing round encompasses mature areas on the Norwegian continental shelf. These are the most explored parts of the shelf, and their geology is known. In mature areas, the expected size of discoveries is smaller, although recent years have shown that positive surprises can still happen. Small discoveries do not justify independent development, but may be profitable if they can utilise previously installed processing equipment and transportation systems or be coordinated with other planned developments. It is therefore important to ensure optimal timing of such discoveries and extraction.

“The award of new licences is vital for effective, long-term resource management. Today’s awards will facilitate the efficient exploration of the parts of the continental shelf that we know best. The next step is for the companies to deliver good results in the form of profitable discoveries,” says Minister of Petroleum and Energy Ola Borten Moe.

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