Norway offers Barents Sea acreage to thirteen oil firms

Thirteen companies have been offered ten production licences consisting of 40 blocks in total in the 23rd licensing round in Norway. Five of the thirteen companies have been offered operatorship.

The licensing round was announced in January 2015, making new exploration acreage available in the southeastern Barents Sea.

“Today, we are opening a new chapter in the history of the Norwegian Petroleum industry. For the first time in twenty years, we offer new acreage for exploration. This will contribute to employment, growth and value creation in Norway. Northern Norway is now in the forefront of further developing the Norwegian petroleum industry,” said Norway’s energy minister Tord Lien.

Three production licences have been awarded in the new area in the southeastern Barents Sea. The authorities have prepared binding work program that include a requirement for four exploration wells within three years in the three production licences in the southeastern Barents Sea.

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate’s exploration director Sissel Eriksen said she was hopeful that the first exploration well will be in place as early as next year.

She said she was very pleased with the results of this round so far. “I am eagerly awaiting the result of the first exploration well,” she said.

Eriksen also said that the areas awarded are important in the search for more knowledge about the Barents Sea generally, for the benefit of further exploration of the area.

The Norwegian Government announced the 23rd licensing round on January 20th, 2015. Twenty six companies in total had applied.

The government said that access to new, attractive exploration acreage is a precondition for long-term activity and value creation in the petroleum sector, and thus employment throughout the country.

“This is a cornerstone of the government’s petroleum policy and is particularly important in the current challenging times for the industry,” the Norwegian petroleum ministry said in a statement.

The companies offered acreage in the latest round are:

1. Lundin Norway (Operatorship)
2. Dea Norge
3. Idemitsu Petroleum Norge
4. Centrica Resources (Operatorship)
5. Det norske oljeselskap (Operatorship)
6. Capricorn Norge (Operatorship)
7. Statoil (Operatorship)
8. Petoro
9. Tullow
10. OMV
11. Lukoil Overseas Petroleum
12. Chevron
13. ConocoPhillips