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    Norway's Licence Round Sees 28 Winners


The government has awarded stakes in licence areas that are already well researched, so it was encouraged by the large number of bids.

by: William Powell

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Natural Gas & LNG News, Europe, Corporate, Exploration & Production, News By Country, Norway

Norway's Licence Round Sees 28 Winners

Norway's offshore regulator Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) has awarded 28 companies stakes in 69 licences in the Awards in Predefined Areas (APA) 2019, it said January 14. The authorities assessed applications from a total of 33 companies through autumn 2019.

Of the total, 13 are in the Barents Sea, 23 in the Norwegian Sea and 33 in the North Sea and 18 of the total are acreage that is additional to existing production licences or agreement-based areas. 

The APA licensing rounds cover the most explored areas on the Norwegian shelf. One of the primary challenges in mature areas is the expected decline in discovery size, so the regulator said it was encouraged by the interest shown.

Among the winners are the European companies Equinor, Total, Shell, Repsol, Var Energi, Wintershall Dea and DNO. 

The NPD said: “The 2019 awards with new licences from the southern North Sea to the Barents Sea demonstrate the companies’ continued interest in the Norwegian Continental Shelf. Production licences are being offered both in the Barents Sea and the Norwegian Sea which will require new seismic data and use of new technology to evaluate the resource potential. It will be exciting to watch how this develops in the coming years. 

“It is encouraging that companies show willingness to test new exploration concepts. Many are also focusing on proving resources near existing infrastructure. This combination is important for continued value creation on the Norwegian Shelf.” 

Neptune Energy won stakes in 13, four of which include the operatorship. It said the awards "support our strategy to grow operatorship and acreage in and around our core areas. Through this latest licensing round we have secured four more awards than in 2019, a record for our company in Norway.”

DNO won stakes in ten, of which two are operatorships. Five are in the North Sea, two in the Norwegian Sea and three in the Barents Sea, it said.

State-owned Equinor won 23 stakes, of which 14 are operatorships. “The award enables us to mature new prospects and prove profitable resources that can be developed within the scope of our new climate roadmap for the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS)," it said.