OSLO, May 18 (Reuters) - Norway awarded 10 new licenses in its 23rd oil licensing round for new exploration areas, which for the first time is granting access to an offshore border zone with Russia, the oil and energy ministry said on Wednesday.
13 companies will be offered participating interests in a total of 40 blocks, while five companies will be offered operatorships, the oil ministry said.
All ten production licences are located in the Barents Sea, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate said in a separate statement.
Among the companies winning licenses were Statoil, Lundin Petroleum, Det norske, Lukoil, Chevron, Centrica and DEA, owned by Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman's investment fund LetterOne.
(Reporting by Ole Petter Skonnord and Henrik Stolen, editing by Stine Jacobsen)
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