The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate has announced the offer of 75 production licences to 34 offshore companies.
The APA round (Awards in Pre-defined Areas) this year hit a record number of production licences issued and applied for within the Norwegian Continental Shelf.
Many of the new licences have been issued within the expanded APA area in both the Barents Sea and Norwegian Sea.
Of the 75 production licences, 45 are in the North Sea, 22 in the Norwegian Sea and 8 in the Barents Sea.
Shell, Total, Maersk Oil, and Statoil have all been awarded licences.
34 offshore firms won a successful award of the 39 that applied, up by 6 on last year.
Wenche Tjelta Johansen, assistant director responsible for exploration in the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, said: “It is positive that the companies are showing so much interest in exploring in the mature areas on the Norwegian shelf, where it is still possible to exploit existing infrastructure. It is also positive that the companies have shown interest in the expanded APA area in both the Norwegian Sea and the Barents Sea.”
“We see that the companies have identified new plays based on new seismic, and new technology. That is exciting,”
Jez Averty, Statoil’s senior vice president for exploration in Norway and the UK, said: “The NCS is the core of Statoil’s business, and we are pleased with the awards in the 2017 APA round. Licenses awarded through the APA-rounds give access to acreage that can provide important resources. We saw that in 2017 when we made a significant discovery in the Norwegian Sea – Cape Vulture – in a license awarded in the APA 2015 one year before we made the discovery.
“Over the past two years we have replenished our portfolio with a number of interesting prospects. This enables us to maintain and increase the exploration efforts. We will this year drill or participating in between 25-30 exploration wells on the NCS. This is an increase from the 19 we operated or participated in in 2017.”