The deadline for seeking new awards from the blocks put on offer – 34 in the Barents Sea and 30 in the Norwegian Sea – was today, November 15th.
"We have great faith in the Norwegian continental shelf, and expect to secure a good outcome from the 19th round," says Tim Dodson, senior vice president for NCS exploration.
"Although a large number of blocks are on offer, the acreage involved still presents a high level of risk."
The government is planning to award new production licenses during the first quarter of 2006.
Despite a tight rig market, Statoil has recently succeeded in securing units to drill many of its planned wells.
This capacity also takes account of possible drilling commitments in the 19th round, and means that the group could spud the first wells on any new acreage during the next two to three years.
"The NCS will be an important area of commitment for us over many years to come, but that depends entirely on securing new exploration assignments," says Mr. Dodson.
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