23rd Licensing round awards (illustration: NPD)
The Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy has awarded ten new licenses, consisting of 40 blocks in total. Three of the licenses are located in the newly opened area in the Barents Sea southeast, outside the county of Finnmark. Thirteen companies are offered participating interest.
“Today, we are opening a new chapter in the history of the Norwegian Petroleum industry. For the first time in twenty years, we offer new acreage for exploration. This will contribute to employment, growth and value creation in Norway. Northern Norway is now in the forefront of further developing the Norwegian petroleum industry,” says Minister Tord Lien.
Thirteen companies are offered participating interest, whereof five companies are offered operatorship. Access to new, attractive exploration acreage is a precondition for long-term activity and value creation in the petroleum sector, and thus employment throughout the country. This is a cornerstone of the government’s petroleum policy and is particularly important in the current challenging times for the industry.
“The Barents Sea offers great, new opportunities. The industry’s interest in new acreage shows that the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) remains attractive. The potential is huge. If the companies are successful in their exploration, Northern Norway will enter a new era,” says Minister Lien.
Oil and gas activities in Norway take place within a strict HSE framework. The activities following the 23rd license round awards is a continuation of petroleum activities in an area where we have had exploration wells since 1980.
“We have almost 40 years of operational experience in the Barents Sea. The operational conditions in the areas where we are awarding acreage today are well known from other parts of the NCS. Oil and gas activities in Norway will only take place within a sound health, safety and environment framework. This also goes for the acreages we are awarding today,” says Minister Lien.
The Norwegian Government announced the 23rd licensing round on January 20th, 2015.