Norwegian Govt Announces 18th Licensing Round

The Norwegian Government announces the 18th licensing round on the Norwegian continental shelf. The round includes 95 blocks, which is almost three times the number of blocks that were included in the 17th licensing round. The announced area contains a variety of challenges, which should provide interesting opportunities for both established and newer companies, says Einar Steensnaes, Minister of Petroleum and Energy.

I expect the companies to follow up this extensive announcement of blocks with extensive applications, so that the round leads to increased and efficient exploration of frontier areas of the shelf. Increased exploration activity is a condition for achieving the Government's long-term goal for the Norwegian continental shelf, says the Minister. The announcement of the 18th licensing rounds provides a good foundation for exploration of the frontier areas of the Norwegian Sea and the North Sea. The round is extensive and should contain challenges for both established companies and newer entrants. The announced acreage contains 95 blocks or parts of blocks. This is a substantially higher number than in previous numbered licensing rounds. The 15th, 16th and 17th licensing rounds announcements included 46, 48 and 32 blocks respectively. The large number of announced blocks underlines the need for rapid and efficient exploration and development of possible resources in the awarded areas. This is a challenge the companies must address in their applications.

In the announcement the Government has been concerned with balancing the interests of the environment, the fisheries, the aqua culture and petroleum. The conditions relating to environmental concerns and the fishery interests is therefore more extensive in this round than what has previously been the case.

The deadline for submission of applications is March 15th at 12.00 noon. The award of production licenses is planned to take place before summer 2004.

The following blocks or part of blocks are included in the 18th licensing round: 8/6
9/2, 3, 4, 5, 6
10/4, 7, 8, 9
11/5, 6, 7
34/2, 3
35/2
6201/4, 6, 8, 11, 12
6202/11, 12
6203/9, 11
6204/8, 10
6302/4
6304/6
6306/2, 3, 5
6403/2, 3, 5, 6, 9
6404/6, 9, 12
6405/2, 3, 5
6406/4, 7, 8
6503/9
6504/1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 11
6505/12
6506/6
6507/4
6602/9
6603/4, 5, 7, 8, 12
6604/7, 8, 10
6605/1, 2, 4, 6
6606/4, 5, 6, 8
6607/1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 9
6608/1, 2, 3, 6, 9
6609/4, 7
6610/3, 6
6705/8, 9, 11, 12
6706/7, 10
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