Three Exploration Companies Get Okay for Norwegian Shelf

Norway has granted approval to Anadarko, Maersk Oil & Gas and Talisman Energy as oil and gas operators, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate said on Friday. Talisman was already an operator after it took over BP's stake and operatorship of the Gyda field on September 1, but the company was only now officially approved as an operator, according to the directorate. The three raise the number of qualified operators on the Norwegian shelf to 19, nine of which have fields in production.

The nine operators with fields in operation are Statoil, Norsk Hydro, BP, ExxonMobil, Shell, Total, Petroleum Geo-Services, Pertra, and ConocoPhillips. The three companies qualified under a system that allows prospective operators and holders of licenses to qualify to take part in Norwegian shelf oil and gas developments before they decide whether to invest there.

The so-called pre-qualification process is an overall evaluation of suitability as operators, including attention to technical competence and financial strength, environmental and safety standards.