Norway Invites Block Nominations for 19th Round

The Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Thorhild Widwey, invited oil companies to nominate the blocks they think should be included in the 19th licensing round on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.

It is important to secure the oil industry good access to new exploration acreage. Increased exploration activity in frontier areas is essential in order to make new discoveries and to develop new fields in the future. Today I have sent letters asking for nominations to the 19th licensing round to all the licensees on the Norwegian Continental Shelf, Widwey said on Thursday at OLF's annual conference.

The Ministry's decision on which blocks to include in the announcement of the 19th licensing round will in part be based on the companies' nominations. The announcement of the 19th licensing round is intended to take place before the summer of 2005, with the award of new production licenses planned for the 1st quarter of 2006.

The deadline for nominations is 12 AM on February 23, 2005.

The nominations may include areas already opened for petroleum activities in the Norwegian Sea and in the Barents Sea, with the exception of:

  • areas already licensed
  • areas included in the "Predefined Areas"
  • especially valuable areas in the Barents Sea; the polar front, the ice edge, Bear Island, Tromsøflaket, as described in the report to the Storting no 38 (2003-04), On Petroleum Activities.
  • the coastal areas of Troms and Finnmark
  • Nordland VI