Norway: 7 Offshore Blocks for Wintershall
The Norwegian energy ministry has awarded Wintershall Norge A.S.A. working interests in seven new exploration licenses in the current licensing round, APA 2011. Wintershall will be the operator in 4 of the licenses. The awards comprise 4 new licenses in the Norwegian North Sea and 3 licenses in the Norwegian Sea for the BASF subsidiary.
“With our success in the current APA round we are making significant progress in implementing our growth strategy in Norway. Especially with the Havørn and Vandrefalk prospect in PL 646 in the Norwegian Sea, we have received a top ranked licence,” Bernd Schrimpf, Managing Director of Wintershall Norge A.S.A., announces.
With 40 licenses, the company is one of the largest licensees on the Norwegian continental shelf and is the operator of 22 licenses, excluding the licenses awarded in APA 2011 which will be officially assigned later this year.
Bernd Schrimpf explains that the awards complemented the wellbalanced asset portfolio of Wintershall on the Norwegian Shelf: “Wintershall has a well-filled schedule for 2012, which will include exploration wells on Skarfjell, Kakelborg and Asha/Noor in the Norwegian North Sea. While we are working in full speed on the development of the Maria, Knarr and Luno projects, our success in the APA round secures us a strong and promising licence portfolio for the future.”
Operator in 4 license areas
Wintershall will take over as operator with 40% shares in the license area PL 633 in the Norwegian North Sea. Wintershall was also awarded the operatorship for areas PL 646 (40%), PL 652 (35%) and PL 655 (30%). In addition, Wintershall has been granted an interest in license PL 375C (15%), PL 638 (16%) and PL 624 (15%) in the Norwegian North Sea.
The Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy issued 60 licenses to 42 companies overall as part of the 2011 licensing round. The majority of the licenses granted apply to the Norwegian section of the North Sea (34 licenses). Another 22 licenses were issued for the Norwegian Sea and four for the Barents Sea. Overall 43 companies took part in the bidding process, which is now complete. APA 2011 is the most extensive licensing round ever undertaken on the Norwegian continental shelf, in terms of both the number of companies and the number of production licenses awarded. The Norwegian Government extended the APA area by 23,500 km² in 2011.
The North Sea is one of the traditional core regions of Wintershall. The wholly owned BASF subsidiary has been active there since 1965 and operates 25 oil and gas platforms in the Dutch North Sea, one in the German North Sea and one in the UK. Around half of the natural gas consumed in Europe today still comes from the countries bordering the North Sea: Norway, the Netherlands, Denmark, the UK and Germany.
Offshore Energy Today Staff, January 20, 2012; Image: Wintershall