Norway Receives Interest from 18 Companies

Einar Steensnaes, the Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy, says he is very pleased with the interest that the companies are demonstrating for frontier areas in the North Sea and the Norwegian Sea. Through their applications the companies has followed up the Government's comprehensive announcement, and thereby laid the foundation for extensive exploration of frontier areas of the Norwegian Continental Shelf. In this round we have received applications from 18 qualified companies. Ten of these companies did not participate in the 17th Licensing Round. This is an interesting development and is underlining the Government's wish for a broad specter of companies on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.

The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy has received applications from 18 qualified companies for the 18th Licensing Round on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. This is a substantial increase from the 13 companies that applied in the 17th Licensing Round. The companies have applied as individual companies and as parts of groups.

The following qualified companies have submitted applications: Amerada Hess, BG, ChevronTexaco, DNO, DONG, ENI, ExxonMobil, Gas de France, Idemitsu, Marathon, Norsk Hydro, Paladin, Pertra, Revus, RWE-DEA, Shell, Statoil and Total.

In the awarding of production licenses importance will be attached to secure a balance between the interests of the environment, the fisheries, the fish farming industry and the petroleum activities. The Ministry aims to award new production licenses in the 18th Licensing Round in the second quarter of 2004.