Initiatives to Promote Efficiency on the Norwegian Continental Shelf

Norwegian Continental Shelf
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The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy is proposing new measures concerning the use of facilities by others, and changes in the Petroleum Regulations concerning the area fee to promote an efficient exploitation of the petroleum resources on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. As the Norwegian Continental Shelf has become more mature, it is of great importance that existing infrastructure and licensed acreage be exploited in the best possible manner.

To realise the goals set by the government in its White Paper No. 38 (2003-2004) concerning petroleum activities on the Norwegian Continental Shelf in a long term perspective, it is crucial that the oil and gas resources are developed efficiently.

A more mature Continental Shelf requires efficient solutions. To ensure sound resource management and the long term attractiveness of the Norwegian Continental Shelf, it is vital that the existing infrastructure and licensed acreage be utilized as efficiently as possible, says Minister of Petroleum and Energy Thorhild Widvey.

Consultation of proposal on changes in the area fee regime
Today the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy is submitting a proposal for consultation concerning changes in the area fee regime.

The proposed changes in the area fee regime imply that no area fee should be paid in areas where exploration and production is undertaken. Areas where such activity is not satisfactory will be levied a higher fee.

The objective of the changes in the area fee regime is to contribute to a quick and efficient exploration of the Norwegian Continental Shelf. The aim for licensed areas is that either production activity or exploration activity should be carried out there. If sufficient activity is not carried out in the licences, the acreage should be assigned or relinquished so as to enable others to be given the opportunity to work with the same area with other ideas. In that way we ensure that the resources on the Continental Shelf are discovered and exploited in an efficient manner.

Consultation of draft regulations relating to the use of facilities by others.

Today the Ministry of Petroleum is submitting draft regulations for consultation, regarding the use of facilities by others.

The objective of these regulations is to achieve efficient use of existing facilities in order to ensure good incentives for licensees to undertake exploration and production, with a view to promoting efficient resource management. Such regulations will contribute to the above-mentioned objective by establishing a framework for the formulation of tariffs and other terms, thereby making the negotiating process more efficient. The commercial companies will still be the ones responsible for seeking good solutions for both parties.

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