Norway to include 36 new blocks in this year’s offshore licensing round

Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy has proposed to include 36 new blocks in this year’s licensing round in the well-known parts of the Norwegian Continental Shelf – Awards in Predefined Areas (APA) 2020.

Norwegian Sea map; Source: Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy

The proposal is now sent and open for public consultation, the ministry said on Monday.

“In these challenging times it is important to plan for the future. Stable access to new acreage for petroleum exploration is key in order to develop our most important industry further and to maintain the level of activity on the Norwegian Shelf. Awards in pre-defined areas contribute to the exploration of the well-known parts of the shelf, and they are sought-after by the companies”, says Minister for Petroleum and Energy, Tina Bru.

The overall objective of Norway’s petroleum policy is to provide a framework for profitable production of oil and gas in a long-term perspective. A stable and predictable framework is key to achieving this goal. Continuation of today’s regular licensing rounds to provide the industry access to new exploration acreage is a pillar of the government’s policy.

“We propose to include 36 new blocks in the pre-defined area. The new acreage is located west in the Norwegian Sea. Through the APA 2020, the government continues to facilitate profitable production of oil and gas in a long-term perspective”, said Bru.

It is worth noting that no expansion has been proposed for the North Sea or the Barents Sea.

In the public consultation, the ministry asks for consultative input related to whether new and significant information has emerged pertaining the decision about where petroleum activities can be conducted, since the last time the Norwegian Parliament reviewed this question.

The ministry said that the deadline for comments is by May 11, 2020.

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