On June 27, 2008, the Ministry of Petroleum and announced the 20th licensing round. The Government will include 79 blocks/parts of blocks in the 20th licensing round, with 51 in the Norwegian Sea and 28 in the Barents Sea.
In a comment, Sissel Eriksen, NPD's Director Exploration, states that the announced blocks in the Barents Sea are important for further exploration. Wells drilled in this area will provide more information that may lead to the opening of new exploration areas.
"The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate is concerned with sequential exploration. This means that new blocks are awarded on the basis of knowledge gained from already awarded areas. Work commitments still remain in previously awarded blocks in the Barents Sea, and these may provide important information," said Eriksen.
"There is still a great potential for making discoveries in the Norwegian Sea. This time, the blocks announced are located further west and northwest than in previous announcements. Several of these blocks situated in deep waters in the Voring basin. This is a complicated and under-explored area of the Norwegian shelf," said Eriksen.
The application deadline has been set to 1200 hours on November 7, 2008. The awards are scheduled for the spring of 2008.
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