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    Norway Launches Licence Round as Gas Output Falls Further

Summary

The area is well-known but there could still be nice surprises as new players apply new technology

by: William Powell, Joseph Murphy

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Complimentary, Natural Gas & LNG News, Europe, Corporate, Exploration & Production, Political, Licensing rounds, News By Country, Norway

Norway Launches Licence Round as Gas Output Falls Further

Norway launched June 19 its annual licensing round in mature areas on the Norwegian continental shelf – Awards in Predefined Areas (APA) 2020. After more than 50 years of exploration, the APA area constitutes most of the open, accessible area on the Norwegian Continental Shelf, its petroleum ministry announced.

"New discoveries are a prerequisite for long-term employment, value creation and government revenues. Regular licensing rounds on the Norwegian Continental Shelf are therefore a key element in our policy," the ministry said. "In mature areas, new discoveries are important for achieving good capacity utilisation in production and transport facilities and for good management of time-critical resources." It said that new technology and a multitude of new players would play a part in making discoveries.

The companies' deadline for applications in this licensing round is September 22 and the aim is to grant new production licenses in the announced areas in early 2021. An updated map of announced blocks and other information may be found on the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD)'s website.

NPD separately reported Norway's production numbers for May. The country's gas production averaged 266.1mn m3/d, down 15.4% year on year and 12.4% month on month, the directorate said in a statement. Output was 8.4% below the level forecast, and represented the fifth month of decline in a row. European gas demand has slumped this year as a result of Covid-19 lockdown measures and warmer weather, causing the sales of Norway and other suppliers to fall.

Norwegian liquids output came to 2.03mn b/d in May, up 27.7% yr/yr thanks to the start-up of the Johan Sverdrup project last autumn, but down 3.7% m/m. Production was 1.7% above the forecast.

Norway’s oil supply is set to fall this month and remain subdued for the rest of the years, because of self-imposed cuts introduced by the government to help rebalance the market.