Faroe, Lundin, Cairn Score Norway License Wins

Further details of awards made in Norway's 2014 Awards in Predefined Areas offshore licensing round emerged Wednesday after Faroe Petroleum, Sweden's Lundin Petroleum and the UK's Cairn Energy became the latest companies announce that they had won licenses in the round.

The APA awards, announced Tuesday, cover the most-explored areas on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. The 2014 awards saw 54 production licenses granted across the North Sea, the Norwegian Sea and the Barents Sea.

Junior explorer Faroe Petroleum said it had won shares in five new prospective exploration licenses, including one operatorship. Three of these were in the Norwegian Sea where Faroe now holds interests in blocks operated by Norske Shell, Statoil and Centrica respectively.

In the Norwegian Sea, Faroe has been awarded a 40-percent interest in, and operatorship of, the Firkløver extension license located east and southeast of the existing North Sea PL676S license, which was awarded in the 2012 APA round. The firm has also won a non-operated 20-percent stake in the Shango extension license, which lies to the north of the PL627 license area in the Norwegian Sea.

Faroe Chief Executive Graham Stewart commented in a company statement:

"These new awards enhance our license portfolio, which is one of the largest on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. The new licenses and license extensions add exciting potential to the company in Norway and further boost our already significant position in the highly prospective area surrounding our Pil and Bue discoveries.
 
"Despite the challenges of a low oil price, Faroe remains robust due to its strong, largely unleveraged balance sheet, profitable cash flow from a balanced production portfolio and modest capital commitments."

Lundin Petroleum said that it had been awarded eight licenses, six of which it will operate. Four of Lundin's awarded licenses are located in the central North Sea and two are in the northern North Sea, while the company has been allocated one license in the Norwegian Sea and one in the Barents Sea.

Cairn Energy said it had been awarded shares in five non-operated licenses as part of the round. All of the company's licenses are located adjacent to its current areas of interest offshore Norway.

Statoil and Det norske oljeselskap were among companies who announced late Tuesday that they had won awards in Norway's latest licensing round. Statoil won interests in 15 licenses and will operate eight of them, while Det norske said it had won interests in nine licenses with two operatorships.

A former engineer, Jon is an award-winning editor who has covered the technology, engineering and energy sectors since the mid-1990s. Email Jon at jmainwaring@rigzone.com

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