Norway and UK-focused energy firm Faroe Petroleum announced Wednesday that it has been awarded six new prospective exploration licenses, including two operatorships, under the 2015 Norwegian APA (Awards in Pre-defined Areas) License Round on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.
Three of the new licenses are located in the Norwegian Sea, with the other three, including both operatorships, situated in the Norwegian section of the North Sea. A total of 44 companies submitted applications for APA 2015, which was just three less than the 47 firms that registered applications for APA 2014.
Graham Stewart, chief executive of Faroe Petroleum, commented in a company statement:
“Faroe has again been very successful in its license application strategy, winning a further six licenses in the latest Norwegian licensing round which add further upside potential to our portfolio. Significantly, we have further consolidated our position in core areas of the Norwegian Continental Shelf in which we have enjoyed recent exploration success, enhancing our acreage positions near and around the greater Njord Areas and the Butch development project. At this stage no well commitments have been offered and should we and our partners progress these toward exploration drilling, Faroe continues to benefit from the Norwegian tax system whereby 78 percent of all exploration related expenditure is eligible for a tax rebate in the following year.
“Faroe has a material and exciting drilling program in 2016; we are currently drilling the Kvalross exploration well in the Barents Sea and have two further firm wells in the Norwegian Sea later in the year. Coupled with strong production, a solid cash position and largely un-utilised credit facilities we are confident in our ability to take advantage of opportunities which the current depressed oil price environment presents.”
Norway’s Ministry of Petroleum and Energy announced January 19 that 56 exploration licenses had been awarded as part of the APA 2015 round. Statoil received the most acreage with 24 licenses, including 13 operatorships, which marked the company’s largest license award since 2005. Two commitment wells are included in the work program and both prospects are potential tie-back opportunities to existing infrastructure on the NCS.
Commenting on the license awards, Jez Averty, senior vice president for NCS exploration at Statoil, said in a company statement:
"The NCS is the core of Statoil’s business and we are pleased with the awards in the APA 2015 round, which will allow us and the industry to further explore for value. This award is an important contribution to replenishing our exploration portfolio and in the work to maintain the production on the NCS until 2030 and beyond.
“The APA 2015 award is an important component of securing future activity and value creation on the NCS. We also look forward to the announcement of awards in the 23rd concession round later in the year, in particular the new acreage in the Barents Sea South-East which is an important contribution to further exploration in frontier areas of the NCS."
Det norske oljeselskap also received several awards from Norway’s latest licensing round, securing six operated licenses and four as partner.
Commenting on Det norske’s application success, Gro G. Haatvedt, the company’s senior vice president of exploration, said in a Det norske statement:
“Det norske achieved a good result. We are pleased with the award of ten licenses including six new operatorship.
“I will recognize the exploration group for a very well done job. We provided a very good application. All who have contributed deserve a big thank you.”
Another energy firm to receive acreage in Norway’s latest licensing round was Fortis Petroleum Norway AS, which secured participating interests in four exploration licenses.
Michael Haagaard, CEO of Fortis, said in a company statement:
“The licences represent a number of very exciting exploration opportunities close to existing infrastructure in our core focus areas and we look forward to creating and unlocking value with our partners”
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