Norway Sees Considerable Interest in Mature Areas of the NCS

The system of awards in predefined areas (APA) was introduced for the first time in 2003. APA is a yearly concession round in mature parts of the Norwegian continental shelf.

Twenty-six companies have been awarded participating interests in 45 production licenses in APA 2005. "I am satisfied with the interest the petroleum industry now shows for mature parts of the Norwegian shelf. The number of licenses underline that mature parts of the Norwegian shelf are very attractive in an international context," says Mr. Odd Roger Enoksen, Minister of Petroleum and Energy.

The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy Thursday, offered 26 companies 45 production licenses in the North Sea and on the Halten Terrace in the Norwegian Sea in APA 2005. The main emphasis is on the North Sea, where offers in 31 production licenses were given. The companies will receive offers of participating interests in a total of 73 blocks or parts of blocks. In comparison, in the APA 2004 round, 21 companies received offers to participate in 28 production licenses.

"The interest shows that the oil companies share the authorities' view that there still are numerous opportunities in mature parts of the Norwegian continental shelf. Through this year's APA round we lay the basis for higher exploration activity in these areas. This is essential in order to ensure that the resources are exploited in the best possible way," says Minister Enoksen.

Offer to 16 operators: (number of operatorships in parenthesis)
A/S Norske Shell (1)
BG Norge AS (4)
Det Norske Oljeselskap AS (2)
DONG Norge AS (2)
Endeavour Energy Norge AS (1)
Eni Norge AS (1)
Idemitsu Petroleum Norge AS (1)
Lundin Norway AS (2)
Norsk Hydro Produksjon a.s (12)
Paladin Resources Norge AS (1)
Pertra AS (2)
Petro-Canada UK Limited (2)
Revus Energy ASA (1)
Statoil ASA (10)
Talisman Energy Norge AS (1)
Total E&P Norge AS (2)

Offer to 26 companies: (number of shares in parenthesis)
Altinex Oil AS (2)
A/S Norske Shell (2)
BG Norge AS (4)
Det Norske Oljeselskap AS (5)
DONG Norge AS (5)
Endeavour Energy Norge AS (2)
Eni Norge AS (5)
E.ON Ruhrgas Norge AS (1)
ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Norway AS (3)
Gaz de France Norge AS (2)
Idemitsu Petroleum Norge AS (3)
Lundin Norway AS (2)
Maersk Oil Norway AS (1)
Norwegian Energy Company AS (3)
Norsk Hydro Produksjon a.s (17)
Norske ConocoPhillips AS (1)
Paladin Resources Norge AS (2)
Pertra AS (4)Petro-Canada UK Limited (5)
Premier Oil Norge AS (5)
Revus Energy ASA (11)
RWE Dea Norge AS (3)
Statoil ASA (16)
Talisman Energy Norge AS (1)
Total E&P Norge AS (4)
Wintershall Norge AS (2)

Number of production licenses:
2003 19 production licenses
2004 28 production licenses
2005 45 production licenses

Number of companies to receive license offers:
2003 13 companies
2004 21 companies
2005 26 companies

In 2003 the Government introduced the system of Awards in Predefined Areas (APA) in mature parts of the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS). This system replaced the annual North Sea Awards.

Today the predefined areas cover acreage in the North Sea, the Norwegian Sea and the Barents Sea.

The APA system ensures that very large areas close to existing and planned infrastructure are available for the industry in the years to come. This will contribute to efficient use of production and transportation installations on the NCS.

The APA system gives new and smaller players on the NCS opportunities to build up their exploration portfolio.

The APA area will be expanded as new areas mature, but the area is not to be reduced.

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