Iceland Set to Open Up Dreki Area for Exploration Bids in January 2009

Strong indications for some time of oil in the Dreki area, progress by leaps and bounds in oil exploration technology, a high oil price and possible economic gain are several of the main reasons that Iceland is now preparing a tender offer at the start of next year for exclusive licenses for oil exploration in the Dreki area (NE of Iceland, south of the island of Jan Mayen).

This emerged during Minister of Industry Ossur Skarphedinsson's opening speech for the Iceland Exploration Conference 2008, on searching for hydrocarbons in Iceland, which was held recently in Reykjavik. Last but not least, Icelanders will be utilizing their right with the nation's future interests as a guide, said the minister.

Michael Larsen from DONG Energy in Denmark said in his speech that various things indicated diverse potential in the geology of the Jan Mayen Ridge and the areas to the east and west of it with respect to the formation and storage of hydrocarbons. Jorgen A. Bojesen, from Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, endorsed this view in his speech, where he reported on research on the geology of Greenland's organic-rich source rock, and what conclusions can be drawn from them for the Jan Mayen Ridge.

Harald Brekke, from the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, said that there was certainly a probability of finding oil in the Dreki area; it was only a question of where and in what quantity. Terje Hagevang from Sagex Petroleum said that he believed strongly in the area for oil exploration, and that the western part of the area should probably be explored first.

Over 100 participants, about half of them coming from abroad, attended the conference at the Hilton Nordica Hotel in Reykjavik recently. The tender offer for exclusive oil exploration licences in the Dreki area is planned in January of next year.


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