Of the licenses handed out, 11 represent supplementary acreage to existing holdings.
"We're very satisfied with this outcome," says Tim Dodson, senior vice president for exploration in Statoil's Exploration & Production Norway business area.
More blocks had been put on offer in this year's TFO than in the corresponding round for 2004.
The extensive awards made to Statoil reflect its application, and could contribute to higher output and extended producing lives for installations in both North and Norwegian Seas.
Certain of the allocated areas have been less explored, and might form the basis for stand-alone developments in the longer term.
"Substantial resources remain to be discovered on the NCS," notes Mr Dodson. "Exploration results in its mature regions have been encouraging this year."
Statoil has had the chance to secure quality acreage in all parts of the NCS this year through the TFO and the 19th licensing round, where awards are due in the first quarter of 2006.
With its long-term rig contracts, the group is well positioned to take on new exploration assignments.
"We've stepped up such operations, but need a constant supply of new opportunities in order to maintain a high level of activity over several years," says Mr. Dodson.
"We continue to have great faith in the NCS. Awards through the TFO make an important contribution to meeting our targets."
A total of 29 companies submitted applications for production licenses in this year's TFO, compared with 16 in 2003 and 22 in 2004.
"That reflects the great confidence which the industry has in the NCS," explains Mr. Dodson.
"From that perspective, it's gratifying to see that these awards have reinforced our position as an active exploration company on the NCS."
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