Photo: Image courtesy of Wintershall Dea

Wintershall Dea grabs nine Norwegian Continental Shelf exploration licenses

Independent natural gas and crude oil producer Wintershall Dea has secured interests in nine new exploration licenses in Norway, including three as an operator.

In the Awards for Predefined Areas (APA) 2019 licensing round, WintershallDEA received participating interest in one license in the Barents Sea, four in the Norwegian Sea, and four in the North Sea.

The awards are the first since Wintershall and DEA merged in 2019, the company said in its statement.

“We have been awarded licenses in all three areas on the Norwegian Continental Shelf, both near existing fields, and in under-explored areas. The licenses have varied geology and are widely spread geographically, providing us with very good exploration opportunities,” said Alv Solheim, managing director of Wintershall Dea Norge.

Wintershall Dea Norge is one of the largest license holders on the shelf. This latest award will grow the portfolio to over 100 licenses, the company said.

One of the newly awarded licenses is in the Q35 Area of the North Sea, where Wintershall Dea already operates the Vega field and is currently developing the Nova field as operator. Both fields are subsea tiebacks to the Gjøa field, in which Wintershall Dea has a 28 percent interest.

The other North Sea licenses are located close to the Wintershall Dea operated Brage field, the Snorre field, where Wintershall Dea has an 8.6 percent interest, and the Edvard Grieg field, where Wintershall Dea has a 15 percent interest.

In the Norwegian Sea three of the new licenses support Wintershall Dea’s exploration strategy in the Vøring Basin, where the company has a 24 percent interest in the Aasta Hansteen field and is operator of the Balderbrå discovery in PL 894. The other Norwegian Sea license is located in a newly opened area in the Møre Basin in the southwestern part of the sea.

In the Barents Sea Wintershall Dea has been awarded a 30 percent interest in the PL 609 D license, which secures the full extent of the Alta oil and gas discovery in PL 609.

The Ministry awarded a total of 69 licenses to 28 companies in the APA 2019 licensing round. The round comprises blocks in predefined areas in the North Sea, the Norwegian Sea and the Barents Sea. In total, 33 companies applied for blocks, Wintershall Dea said.