A total of 16 companies have been given new licenses to explore the coastline outside Norway. "This award lays the foundation for an efficient exploration of large parts of the frontier acreage in the North Sea and the Norwegian Sea," says Einar Steensnæs, the Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy.
"I am very pleased with the outcome of the 18th licensing round, " the Minister said.
"This licensing round is comprehensive both in the North Sea and the Norwegian Sea, and includes frontier acreage with a high potential in addition to more explored areas with lower risks. There is also an interesting mix of large established companies and smaller, relatively new actors."
In connection with the 18th licensing round on the Norwegian Continental Shelf, 16 companies will receive offers to participate in 16 new production licenses. The companies will be offered participation in a total of 46 blocks or parts of blocks.
The following companies have been offered participation in production licenses (numbers in parenthesis): Statoil (9), Hydro (4), Shell (4), ENI (4), BG (2), Gaz de France (2), ChevronTexaco (2), RWE Dea (2), Pertra (2), DONG (1), Amerada Hess (1), Paladin (1), Esso (1), Total (1), Idemitsu (1) and Revus (1).
The following companies have been offered operatorship (numbers in parenthesis): Statoil (4), Hydro (2), Shell (2), ENI (2), Total (1), Pertra (1), Paladin (1), Esso (1), ChevronTexaco (1) and RWE Dea (1).
Some adjustments to the framework conditions have been made in this licensing round compared to the 17th licensing round. The rules for relinquishment are changed so that companies, upon the expiry of the initial period, can keep the areas where resources have been proven through drilling.
The rest of the awarded acreage has to be relinquished. This is a continuation of the principles introduced in Awards in Pre-defined Areas 2003 (APA 2003) and will encourage a rapid and efficient exploration of awarded acreage.