Oil firms show interest in new Barents Sea blocks

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) has revealed a list of companies that applied for acreage offshore Norway, as part of the 23rd licensing round in the country.

The deadline for applications for production licenses expired on Wednesday, December 2. Twenty-six companies applied for acreage situated mostly in Barents Sea.
For comparison, a total of 36 companies had applied for production licences in the previous, 22nd licensing round Commenting on the latest outcome, Sissel Eriksen, exploration director in the NPD said: “It is good to see that so many competent companies want to explore in new acreage during a time when we are experiencing low oil prices and substantial cost cuts. This shows that the companies recognise opportunities and the potential of finding oil and gas in these new areas.”

She notes that the announced blocks are located in frontier areas, and that more exploration is needed in order to clarify the resource potential.

The country’s energy minister Tord Lien said: “New exploration acreage is a cornerstone for long-term activity and value creation in the petroleum industry and hence employment across the country. We are therefore pleased that many companies have submitted applications and that there is intense competition for many of the blocks.”

According to the NPD, the list (which you can see below) reveals a broad player landscape with mostly large and medium-sized companies, but also a few smaller players. Two of the companies, INPEX and Kufpec, are newcomers this autumn. Kufpec also applied in this year’s APA round.

“It is exciting that new companies want to enter the Norwegian Shelf. The authorities have worked for many years to facilitate the establishment of new players here, as we are certain that this can contribute to enhanced value creation,” NPD’s Eriksen said.

The work of reviewing all the applications will start now, NPD said, adding that it is looking for the companies with the best knowledge, the best applications and the best strategy for exploring the areas.

“Companies that are awarded licences must have both technical expertise and a good understanding of the geology. Financial strength and experience are also factors that are emphasised,” NPD added.

The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy plans to award new licences in the 23rd licensing round sometime before summer 2016. According to the energy minister, first drilling operations in new acreage could start in 2017.

The companies that applied are:
• A/S Norske Shell
• BP Norge AS
• Capricorn Norge AS
• Centrica Resources (Norge) AS
• Chevron Norge AS
• ConocoPhillips Skandinavia AS
• DEA Norge AS
• Det norske oljeselskap ASA
• DONG E&P Norge AS
• E.ON E&P Norge AS
• Edison Norge AS
• Faroe Petroleum Norge AS
• Idemitsu Petroleum Norge AS
• INPEX Norge AS
• KUFPEC Norway AS
• Lukoil Overseas North Shelf AS
• Lundin Norway AS
• Moeco Oil & Gas Norge AS
• OMV (Norge) AS
• PGNiG Upstream International AS
• Pure E&P Norway AS
• RN Nordic Oil AS
• Spike Exploration AS
• Statoil Petroleum AS
• Tullow Oil Norge AS
• Wintershall Norge AS


Offshore Energy Today Staff

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