Norway: 43 Oil Firms Apply for APA 2011

A preliminary count reveals that 43 companies have applied for acreage in the 2011 Awards in Predefined Areas (APA 2011).  This result shows that there is still considerable interest in awards in predefined areas in the North Sea, the Norwegian Sea and the Barents Sea, even through much of the acreage has already been awarded and explored several times.

“APA is important in realising the value potential on the shelf. Major discoveries have been made in mature areas in recent years, such as the Utsira High in the central part of the North Sea. We now see a growing interest in the Norwegian shelf in this round,” says the NPD’s deputy director general Johannes Kjøde.

Proximity to existing facilities means that development of small discoveries is both profitable and faster than developments in less mature areas of the shelf. The price of oil in recent years is another strong contributor to vigorous exploration activity.

APA 2011 was announced on 11 March 2011.

When the deadline for applications expired on 14 September, companies could apply for a total of 108 430 square kilometres divided among 377 blocks. This is a substantial increase compared with APA 2010. The reason is that the predefined area in the Norwegian Sea was expanded by more than 20 900 square kilometres in a total of 62 blocks or parts of blocks compared with the area announced in APA 2010.

Considerable acreage was also relinquished within the APA area over the past year, which is also included in the area companies could apply for.

In APA 2010, the authorities received applications from 41 companies for area totalling 84 854 square kilometres. Of this, 14 721 square kilometres was awarded in early 2011.

The APA scheme contributes to better and faster exploration of mature areas on the Norwegian shelf. New players with new ideas and exploration targets have yielded more new discoveries in mature areas of the Norwegian shelf. The scheme ensures that the industry has regular access to prospective acreage, and that areas are relinquished and made available to new players in a timely manner.

The awards in APA 2011 will most likely be announced in early 2012.

Source:NPD ,September 15, 2011;

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