Increased interest in oil exploration in the Barents Sea offshore Norway has seen a record number of blocks nominated for inclusion in the country’s next licensing round.
Norway’s Ministry of Petroleum and Energy said today it had received nominations for 228 blocks or part of blocks from 37 companies.
The firms have nominated blocks over large parts of the Barents Sea and the Norwegian Sea, with the Barents Sea attracting the most nominations.
Ola Borten Moe, Norway’s minister of petroleum and energy, said: “”In this round of nominations, particular interest has been shown in our northernmost sea areas, confirming that the Barents Sea is an exciting and internationally attractive petroleum province.
“This represents major opportunities for the entire region.
“Exploration in all of the areas which have been opened up is also very important for ensuring further activity, employment and ripple effects throughout Norway.”
The 22nd licensing round is scheduled to be announced before summer, with the awards due to be announced in spring 2013