Majors Line Up for Latest Norway Licensing Round

Majors Line Up for Latest Norway Licensing Round
Shell, TotalEnergies, ConocoPhillips and Equinor all applied for production licenses.

The Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy has revealed that it received applications from 26 companies in connection with the announcement of its latest licensing round – APA (Awards in Predefined Areas) 2022.

A/S Norske Shell, TotalEnergies EP Norge AS, ConocoPhillips Skandinavia AS and Equinor Energy AS all applied for production licenses, the ministry highlighted. Other applicants included Chrysaor Norge AS, Var Energi ASA and Wintershall Dea Norge AS.

APA is the annual licensing round for the best-known exploration areas on the Norwegian shelf, the ministry noted, adding that it comprises the majority of the available exploration areas. The ministry, which outlined that the APA area is being expanded as geological knowledge in areas on the Norwegian shelf increases, said, in this year’s licensing round, the predefined area was expanded in the Barents Sea.

APA 2022 was announced on June 14 and had an application deadline of September 12. The aim is to award new production licenses in the announced areas at the beginning of 2023, according to the ministry.

“We need exploration and new discoveries to maintain the production of oil and gas over time, which is important both for Norway and Europe,” Norway Minister of Petroleum and Energy Terje Aasland said in a government statement.

“The applications in TFO 2022 show very good interest among the companies active on the Norwegian continental shelf in exploring for new petroleum resources. This is very pleasant,” Aasland added in the statement.

Kalmar Ildstad, the director of license management in the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD), said, “it's gratifying to note the continuing significant interest in investigating new exploration acreage, given the many awards made in the most recent APA processes”.

The NPD noted that it is now commencing the work of evaluating the applications, “with focus on geological understanding and plans for exploring the areas”. When production licenses are awarded, emphasis is also placed on the companies’ technical expertise and experience, as well as their financial strength, the NPD stated.

At the launch of the latest APA round back in June, Aasland noted that “APA 2022 is an important part of our work to develop the petroleum industry”. He added that “the petroleum sector is a highly productive industry that generates large revenues, value creation and employment”.

APA licensing rounds were introduced in 2003 with the aim of best facilitating the identification and extraction of profitable resources in mature areas before existing infrastructure shut down, the ministry’s website outlines.

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