Photo: The West Hercules drilling rig. (Photo: Ole Jørgen Bratland)

Norway offers four licences to seven oil & gas players

Seven oil and gas companies have been offered four production licences located offshore Norway as part of the country’s 25th Licensing Round.

Norway’s Ministry of Petroleum and Energy offers Norske Shell, Equinor, Idemitsu Petroleum Norway, INEOS E&P Norway, Lundin, OMV (Norway) and Vår Energi four production licenses in the 25th licensing round.

According to the ministry, one is located in the Norwegian Sea and three in the Barents Sea.

Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Tina Bru, said: “The 25th licensing round and the annual APA rounds facilitate exploration and activity on the Norwegian shelf. This is important for employment and value creation in the Norwegian oil and gas industry. The allocations are in line with the goals we presented in the White Paper Energy for Work. They are also an important part of the framework conditions for the companies on the Norwegian shelf”.

The 25th licensing round was announced on 19 November 2020. The application deadline was 23 February 2021. Companies could apply for licenses in nine different areas; eight in the Barents Sea and one in the Norwegian Sea.

After the application deadline, the authorities assessed the applications and negotiated with the relevant companies about possible areas and a binding work program.

In a separate statement on Wednesday, Equinor confirmed it was offered two operated production licences in the 25th licensing round in the Barents Sea.

Equinor has been offered production licences PL 1133 and PL 1134 in the Hoop area in the Barents Sea. The location will enable tie-in of any future discoveries to the Wisting field in the Barent Sea. The partners have scheduled the final investment decision for the Wisting licence by the end of 2022.

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Jez Averty, senior vice president for subsurface in Equinor, said: “We are pleased with the award. A steady access to acreage contributes positively to the development of the Norwegian Continental Shelf. This award brings opportunities for exploring volumes near planned infrastructure. We prioritise exploring for resources that meet our requirements both for profitability and reduced carbon emissions”.