The Danish Energy Agency (DEA) has received a record number of applications in its seventh licensing round for oil and gas in the North Sea.
Applications have been made by several companies who have previously not held licences in Denmark.
A total of 15 companies, including Maersk, Shell, Dana Petroleum , Wintershall and Hess have all put their names in the hat.
The Minister for Climate, Energy and Building, Rasmus Helveg Pet, said: “I am very pleased with the number of applications received in the licensing round, which confirms that the oil companies are still confident that interesting discoveries can be made in the Danish area.
“This is positive because it means we can maintain stable exploration activity along with investments in highly specialized workplaces in Denmark.
“I look forward to the future licences leading to new commercial discoveries that can secure the greatest possible revenue from the North Sea for Danish society.”
The seventh licensing round was opened in April, and offers potential licenses for areas in the Central Graben, where the majority of Danish fields have so far been discovered, as well as areas further to the east where oil discoveries were made in the sixth licensing round.
Applications will now be processed and licences are expected to be issued at the beginning of next year.
The DEA said it plans to hold licensing rounds at regular intervals in the period ahead.
It aims to initiate the eighth licensing round in mid-2016.