Norway Announces Awards from the 19th Licensing Round

The Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy is today awarding new production licenses for the 19th licensing round on the Norwegian continental shelf. 17 companies will receive offers to participate in 13 new production licenses. The companies will be offered participation in a total of 33 blocks or parts of blocks.

The main focus of the 19th licensing round has been on the Barents Sea. The awards today represent an important step on the way for long-term exploration in this area. We have seen an increased interest in the Northern areas over the last few years. Combined with the awards in the 19th licensing round and the work with the integrated management plan, the Barents Sea has been given new opportunities. I will with great interest be awaiting the exploration results in the years to come, says Mr. Odd Roger Enoksen, the Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy. The following companies have been offered participation in production licenses
(numbers of operatorships/total number of licenses in parenthesis):

BG Group (5/8), ConocoPhillips (0/1), DNO (0/1), Gaz de France (0/2), Idemitsu (0/2), Norsk Hydro a.s (2/2), Noreco (0/1), Revus Energy (0/1), RWE Dea (0/3), Statoil ASA (3/5), Total (1/2), Discover Petroleum (0/1), Chevron (0/1), Amerada Hess (0/2), Eni Norge (0/1), Norske Shell (1/1) and Talisman (1/1).

In addition to the above, SDØE shares (the State's Direct Financial Interest) have been taken in five production licenses.

For the announced blocks outside the coast of Møre, I have chosen not to award production licenses in this licensing round. These are blocks that are central both to fishing interests and from a petroleum industry perspective. I therefore consider it to be important that we have a thorough examination into the possibilities for co-existence between the fish industry and the petroleum sector, before a possible award of blocks in this area. The so called co-existence group will carry out this work, says Mr. Odd Roger Enoksen, Minister of Petroleum and Energy.

The environmental and fishery conditions that were established in connection with the announcement of the 19th licensing round are included in the new production licenses. In addition to that, general terms are established, along the lines of the conclusion in the integrated management plan. The terms specify that no exploration activities in oil-leading layers are permitted in the period from 1st March to 31st August for the blocks within 65 kilometers from the base line in the Barents Sea.

Summary of working program in the 19th licensing round:

  • 4 firm wells
  • 7 "drill or drop"- decisions
  • appraisal well
  • The collection of minimum 9 860 km2 3D-seismic (awarded area: 11 532 km2)

The Integrated Management Plan as a Framework for the Petroleum Activities

The integrated management plan for the Barents Sea was presented to the Storting today.

The work with the management plan has been a long and thorough process where several comprehensive studies have been carried out. Based on the results from this process, the Government has established the foundation for a future oriented and responsible exploitation of the natural resources in the northernmost areas in Norway, says Mr. Odd Roger Enoksen, the Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy.

Within the framework of sustainable development and ecosystem based resource management, considerations to the different industries have been balanced. For the petroleum activity this means that the framework conditions in the Barents Sea now are predictable. This forms the basis for an effective and long-term exploration of the petroleum resources in this important area, Minister Enoksen says.

To see the Government's conclusions with regard to petroleum activity, please go to: www.smk.dep.no

Existing production licenses in the Barents Sea have been awarded with different drilling restrictions, depending on when they were awarded. On the basis of updated knowledge and the overall evaluation that has been undertaken, we will clear up the disparities. The varied drilling restrictions have been a challenge for optimal use of drilling rigs in the Barents Sea. The integrated management plan could therefore give a positive contribution to a tight situation in the rig market, says Minister Enoksen.

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