Norway's oil ministry awards 56 oil and gas exploration licenses in mature areas and it plans to launch a new licensing round before Easter this year.
SANDEFORD, Norway Jan 19 (Reuters) – Norway's oil ministry awarded 56 oil and gas exploration licences in mature areas on Tuesday and said it plans to launch a new licencing round in mature areas before Easter this year.
"I have the pleasure to offer 56 new exploration licences. 27 in the North Sea, 24 in the Norwegian Sea and five in the Barents Sea," oil minister Tord Lien told an industry conference.
A total of 36 companies were awarded stakes to explore in mature areas, or areas already opened for exploration, the Petroleum and Energy ministry said.
The biggest winner was Statoil with 24 licences, including 13 operatorships. Others to win operatorships include Lundin and Eni.
(Reporting by Stine Jacobsen and Joachim Dagenborg, editing by Alister Doyle)
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