Norway Pre-qualifies Premier Oil as NCS Operator

Norway's Ministry of Petroleum and Energy has pre-qualified Premier Oil Norge as an operator on the Norwegian continental shelf.

Premier Oil Norge AS was established by the international oil company Premier Oil plc, and opened its offices in Stavanger in the summer of 2006. Premier Oil Norge AS has previously been pre-qualified as a licensee on the Norwegian shelf, and currently holds stakes in five production licenses on the shelf.

Premier Oil plc was originally formed in 1934, at which time it had oil production in Trinidad. The company's activities have gradually expanded to Asia, the Middle East/Pakistan, West Africa and the North Sea, where the company has had considerable recent activity. During the past 20 years, the company has held licenses in 23 countries - with operator status in 19 of these. The company has been the operator of 24 exploration wells and more than 30 production wells since 2000. In 2005, Premier Oil plc had production of 33,000 boe/day.

In order to bring competent new players on to the shelf, the Norwegian authorities have established a system to pre-qualify both licensees and operators. The basis for setting up this system is to provide the companies with an opportunity to have their suitability for participation on the Norwegian continental shelf evaluated before they devote resources to considering specific business opportunities.

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