"We're very satisfied with this outcome, particularly in view of the stronger competition in these waters," said Tim Dodson, head of Norwegian continental shelf exploration at the group.
"It give us access to new exploration acreage where valuable additional resources could be found for phasing into existing infrastructure.
"The awards can contribute to increased production from and an extended working life for existing installations in both the North and Norwegian Seas.
"I also believe it's possible to make new discoveries which could form the basis for stand-alone developments."
Statoil has stepped up its exploration activities on the NCS in recent years, but has a constant need for new acreage to maintain a high level of drilling over a period of years.
When announcing the APA 2006, petroleum and energy minister Odd Roger Enoksen announced that the next set of these awards in 2007 would give the industry access to new Barents Sea areas.
"It's gratifying that the authorities intend to prioritize an extension of the APA system to these waters," said Mr Dodson. "That will strengthen opportunities for further development of the Snohvit area."
Mr Enoksen also announced that the government has decided to postpone the 20th licensing round on the NCS by a year, until 2009.
"We're disappointed by this delay, but have taken it under advisement," says Mr Dodson. "We're well equipped to undertake new exploration assignments, both near existing infrastructure and in immature areas."
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