Norway awards 56 oil and gas exploration licenses
The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NDP) has awarded 56 oil and gas exploration licenses in mature areas on the Norwegian continental shelf in a bid to boost its oil and gas industry.
A total of 36 companies received the offers for exploration interests in the 56 production licenses including 27 in the North Sea, 24 in the Norwegian Sea and five in the Barents Sea.
The exploration licenses have been awarded by the Norway's oil ministry in the 2015 Norwegian Licensing Round awards in predefined areas (APA).
Norwegian Petroleum Directorate exploration director Sissel Eriksen said: "The number of applications has remained fairly constant in recent years.
"We are pleased that the oil companies still see the potential in the Norwegian shelf and are very focused on mature areas.
"Many of these areas have existing fields that are nearing the end of production, with infrastructure that can be exploited. It is therefore important that we explore the surrounding areas so that potential resources are not lost."
Statoil won the biggest offer with 24 licenses, including 13 operatorships. Det norske oljeselskap remained the second biggest winner with 10 licenses and six operatorships.
Others firms including Lundin, Eni, ConocoPhillips, Total, BP and Wintershall received operatorships in the licenses.
Eriksen said that the APA 2015 scheme, which includes a total of 220 635 km2, gives a predictable framework for the industry to meet their objective of rapid turnover of acreage and stable exploration activity.
Image: Norway intends to boost its oil and gas industry. Photo: courtesy of num_skyman/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net.