Approval letters have now been sent to Wintershall AG, Noble Energy Inc. and Centrica Energy. The German company Wintershall, the American company Noble Energy and the British company Centrica have all been pre-qualified as operators.
Seven new companies have been pre-qualified during 2004:
(L = licensee; O = operator)
"We interpret the fact that so many new companies want to establish themselves on the Norwegian shelf during the course of just one year as a sign that Norway is still an attractive place to explore for and produce petroleum. We believe that these new companies - together with the companies already present on the shelf - will contribute to increased value creation, and ensure long-term and optimal exploitation of our oil and gas resources," says principal engineer Ståle Thorsen in the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD).
The program under which companies can apply for pre-qualification as licensees or operators was introduced as a result of the authorities' desire to bring competent new players on to the Norwegian continental shelf.
The reason for setting up this system is to give the companies an opportunity to obtain an evaluation of their suitability for participation on the Norwegian continental shelf before the companies invest resources in assessing specific business opportunities. The system is also used if the authorities find it necessary to perform a new review/re-qualification of companies that are currently licensees/operators with a low level of activity and who want to increase their activity.
The oil company DNO has been re-qualified as an operator on the Norwegian continental shelf in 2004.
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