Norway offers 93 Barents Sea blocks in 24th licensing round

Norway’s Ministry of Petroleum and Energy has launched the 24th licensing round on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. The licensing round includes a total of 102 blocks.

Nine blocks are located in the Norwegian Sea and 93 in the Barents Sea. The aim is to award new production licenses during the first half of 2018. The Barents Sea is estimated to hold a half of all of the undiscovered resources on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.

“New exploration acreage promotes long-term activity, value creation and profitable employment in the petroleum industry across the country. Profitable activity on the Norwegian continental shelf provides employment, as well as revenues to the state. Thus, awarding prospective acreage to the petroleum industry is a central pillar in the Norwegian government’s petroleum policy, said Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Terje Søviknes.

“The announcement of the 24th licensing round is an important contribution to the value creation on the Norwegian continental shelf, and shows our commitment to the Government’s petroleum policy. Profitable petroleum activity is important to maintain our welfare and further development of our society, Minister Søviknes added.

The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy invited companies to nominate blocks for the 24th licensing round in August 2016. A proposal to announce in total 102 blocks was prepared, based on the nomination from the companies and evaluation by the government authorities.

The proposed blocks were a combination of potentially prosperous blocks close to existing exploration acreage and discoveries as well as new exploration acreage. The proposal was sent on public consultation on 13th of March, with deadline of May 2. In total, 36 submissions were received.

The aim is to award new production licenses in the announced areas in the first half of 2018. The application deadline for companies is 12 p.m. on November 30, 2017.

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