Norway Receives Bids from 24 Companies for 19th Licensing Round

I am very pleased with the interest the companies are demonstrating for new exploration opportunities in the Barents Sea and the Norwegian Sea. The applications show that exploration acreage on the Norwegian continental shelf is very competitive in an international perspective. With this amount of applications it is clear that the competition for acreage is increasing also in frontier parts of the shelf, says Mr. Odd Roger Enoksen, Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy.

The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy has received applications from 24 companies for the 19th licensing round on the Norwegian continental shelf. The companies have applied as individual companies and as parts of groups.

The following qualified companies have submitted applications: Amerada Hess Norge AS, A/S Norske Shell, BG Norge AS, Chevron Texaco Norge AS, ConocoPhillips Skandinavia AS, Det Norske Oljeselskap AS, Discover Petroleum AS, DONG Norge AS, Eni Norge AS, Faroe Petroleum plc, Gaz de France Norge AS, Idemitsu Petroleum Norge AS, Lundin Norway AS, Marathon Petroleum Norge AS, Norsk Hydro Produksjon a.s, Norwegian Energy Company AS (NORECO), Premier Oil Norge AS, Revus Energy AS, RWE Dea Norge AS, Statoil ASA, Svenska Petroleum Exploration AS, Talisman Energy Norge AS, Total E&P Norge AS and Wintershall Norge AS.

The Government is focusing on development and presence in the Northern Areas. It is therefore encouraging to see that the industry is appreciating the continuation of the exploration activity in the Barents Sea. This round also shows that the Norwegian Sea attracts a large number of applicants, in spite of the fact that there have been several comprehensive rounds lately in the Norwegian Sea. The applications we have received will lay a good foundation for comprehensive exploration of frontier parts of the Norwegian continental shelf, says Minister Enoksen.

The Ministry aims to award new production licenses in the 19th licensing round towards the end of first quarter of 2006.

When awarding production licenses it will be important to secure a balance between the interests of the fisheries, the fish farming industry and the petroleum activities within the framework of sustainable development.

Number of applicants in previous rounds:
17th Licensing round: 13 companies
18th Licensing round:18 companies