The awards in both the North Sea and the Norwegian Sea are extensive, and contain blocks within areas that have not previously been explored to any great extent, but which have a high potential. The awards also include blocks within established areas with confirmed play models. There is also an interesting mix of large, established companies and smaller, relatively new players, says Minister of Petroleum and Energy Einar Steensnaes said.
The 18th Licensing Round contains a total of 95 announced, and is, as regards area, the largest licensing round on the Norwegian shelf since 1965.
The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) has mapped as many as 109 prospects and potential prospects in the announced blocks.
"The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate is very satisfied with the round so far. Interest has been high and there were more applications than expected. These awards give us good grounds to be optimistic about the future, says the NPD's Director of Exploration, Bente Nyland.
The awards comprise a total of 46 blocks or parts of blocks distributed among 16 new production licenses.
Many of the blocks now made available are situated in the deep water areas of the Norwegian Sea and around the 62 parallel, in other words, on the border between the Norwegian Sea and the North Sea.
Awards in deep water in the Norwegian Sea complement important exploration strategy objectives.
A large portfolio is also concentrated around the Egersund basin and the Farsund basin in the southeastern part of the North Sea.
"A lot of new and exciting acreage has now been opened for petroleum activities. The award of blocks in the Farsund basin and the Egersund basin represent the beginning of a new era for the Permian play models on the Norwegian shelf, or in other words, exploration of older strata than the Cretaceous, Jurassic and Triassic, where most of the discoveries on the Norwegian shelf have been made," says Hans-Ivar Sjulstad in the NPD.
"In this licensing round we have also seen the first stratigraphic division of production licenses on the Norwegian shelf. This applies to a total of five of the blocks in the 18th Round."
Stratigraphic division means that a single production license, in addition to being geographically delimited, is also delimited according to the age of the stratigraphic sequence. This means that within a single geographic area, one production license can cover shallow geological strata, while another covers deeper geological strata.
18th Round Map PDF (886 KB)
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