The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy has received nominations from 37 companies for blocks the companies believe should be included in the 22nd licensing round on the Norwegian shelf.
The deadline for submitting nominations expired on January 11.
The 21st licensing round received nominations from 43 companies.
228 blocks or parts of blocks have been nominated, 107 of which were nominated by by two or more companies.
"We are pleased to see that this round has attracted so much interest," said Sissel Eriksen, director of exploration in the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate.
The companies have nominated blocks over large parts of the Barents Sea and the Norwegian Sea, with the Barents Sea attracting the most nominations.
"This is probably a result of the new, exciting discoveries made in the last two years, and that is interesting," stated Eriksen.
The oil companies have nominated the blocks they consider interesting. The authorities will now prepare a proposal for which blocks to include in the licensing round.
This proposal will be sent out for a public hearing, where all affected and interested parties will be invited to give their opinions. The Government will decide which blocks to include on the basis of a comprehensive assessment.
The companies that have submitted nominations are:
The companies were invited to nominate blocks on November 2, 2011. As in recent rounds, the companies were asked to limit the number of nominated blocks to the 15 they consider to be most interesting.
The 22nd licensing round is scheduled to be announced before summer, with the awards scheduled for the spring of 2013.
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