Rosneft, Lukoil Awarded Barents Licenses

Two Russian firms reported late Thursday that they have both been awarded exploration licenses in the Norwegian Barents Sea.

Following on from Statoil and Eni's announcements Wednesday that they had won several Barents Sea licenses between them in Norway's 22nd licensing round, Rosneft said it had been granted a 20-percent participating interest in production license 713 while Lukoil said it had been awarded a 30-percent interest in PL 719 and a 20-percent interest in PL 708.

Rosneft said that PL 713 – where Statoil will be the operator – consists of four promising blocks, with the firm noting that its acreage is one of the biggest that was applied for and is located next to the recently-discovered Castberg fields (Skrugard and Havis).

PL 719 is operated by the UK's Centrica (which has a 50-percent interest), while Norway's North Energy has a 20-percent stake. PL 708 is operated by Sweden's Lundin Petroleum, which has a 40-percent stake, with North Energy and Italy's Edison both each holding a 20-percent stake

Zeljko Runje, Rosneft's vice president for offshore projects, commented in a company statement:

"We are pleased to have been awarded the license and look forward to making active contributions to the license work program. We are convinced that application of latest technologies jointly with our strategic partner Statoil will enable us to develop these acreages in the most efficient way."

Poland's natural gas utility PGNiG reported Friday that it has also been awarded interests in four Norwegian exploration licenses: two of these - PL 702 and PLN 703 - are in the Norwegian Sea, while the other two - PLN 707 and PLN 711 - are in the Barents Sea. Edison will operate PLN 707 while Spain's Repsol is the operator at PLN 711.


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