It is expected that the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy will announce the awards late first half of 2016.
The round represents the first opening of new acreage on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) since 1994. Statoil’s application aims to significantly contribute to the company’s ambition for 2030 and beyond.
The acreage that is offered in this round includes the south-east of the Barents Sea, which is an area that was clarified as Norwegian territory under the border agreement with Russia that came into effect from 2011. In addition acreage in the Hoop-Wisting area, opened in the 22nd round, is on offer.
“Statoil has been the guarantor for exploration and development in the Barents Sea since the mid-1980s and we have a clear ambition to remain in that role. The acreage offered is interesting and important and we hope we will earn the opportunity to drill as early as in 2017,” says Jez Averty, senior vice president Exploration Norway.
“Acreage in the 23rd round has significant volume potential, but never-the-less there is a debate where some say that these resources will not be commercial. We believe otherwise and our application is proof enough of that. Statoil’s preparations for our 23rd round application have included developing technology solutions that will reduce the break-even price per barrel for the significant discoveries we hope to make in the Barents Sea.”
In the run up to this licence round, the cooperation within the industry has been unprecedented. In the Barents Sea Exploration Collaboration project, 16 companies are cooperating to find common solutions for exploration operations in the Barents Sea and to ensure cost-effectiveness and good safety standards.
In 2014, Statoil was operator for a group of 33 companies cooperating on seismic surveys in areas included in the licensing round.
The NCS is the backbone of Statoil and Statoil has an ambition to maintain production at current levels through to 2025-2030 and beyond.