Det Norske Snags 20% Stake in Barents Sea License

Det norske oljeselskap ASA (DETNOR) has been awarded a 20 percent stake in license 533 (blocks 7219/12 and 7220/10) at Loppa Vest in the Barents Sea. Det norske submitted only two applications in the 20th licensing round.

Det norske's CEO, Erik Haugane, is not altogether pleased with the result.

"We have been awarded a share in one of the two licenses we applied for in the Barents Sea, and we consider this an exciting license. From our point of view, this area is the most interesting of what was offered in the 20th licensing round, as there are strong seismic indications of hydrocarbons. We also hoped for a share in the neighboring license 532, preferably as operator. A larger share would have been important to strengthen our Harstad office."

Erik Haugane notices that Statoil and the Norwegian authorities through Petoro, are awarded 70 percent of the license (license 532) that Det norske had hoped to participate in.

"This is not necessarily the best way to increase activity and stimulate competition in the North. We will uphold our commitment to develop education, research and industry in Northern Norway, but our opportunities now are smaller, as we did not become operator and were awarded only a small share.

Det norske's activities in the Barents Sea are managed from our Harstad office. The company has initiated a number of efforts to strengthen our position in the North. Contracts have been signed with industrial operators, research and education institutions. The objective is to prepare for increased activity. In collaboration with Verftsringen Nord-Norge, apprenticeship programs have been set up in Nordland, Troms and Finnmark counties. Det norske has initiated several research and development programs with the University of Tromso and university colleges of Northern Norway.