Norway Awards 38 Offshore Oil and Gas Blocks

Norway's Government has decided to offer 38 production licenses in the awards in predefined areas 2009 (APA 2009).

"Today I am offering production licenses to 42 companies, of which 19 companies are offered operatorships. APA 2009 is the seventh licensing round with focus on mature areas on the whole shelf. The industry's continuing interest for these areas indicates that the annual licensing rounds in mature areas work in accordance with the purpose of an efficient exploration of the mature areas. Offers are given to large, medium-sized and small companies. This illustrate the diversity of companies on the Norwegian continental shelf," said Minister of Petroleum and Energy Terje Riis-Johansen.

The 38 production licenses are distributed among the North Sea (25), the Norwegian Sea (10) and the Barents Sea (3). A total of 44 companies applied for production licenses in APA 2009.

The APA licensing rounds takes place in mature areas of the Norwegian continental shelf. Mature areas are the most explored areas on the shelf and have known geology. The main challenge in mature areas is that the expected sizes of discoveries are declining. Small discoveries can often not justify a standalone development, but can be profitable with a tie-in. It is therefore important to discover and develop resources in these areas before existing infrastructure in connection to other fields is shut down.

Operators of the new license blocks include Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSB.LN), Centrica PLC (CNA.LN), ConocoPhillips (COP), Dana Petroleum PLC (DNX.LN), E.ON AG (EOAN.XE), GDF Suez SA (GSZ.FR), Marathon Corp. (MRO), Nexen Corp. (NXY), OMV AG (OMV.VI), Repsol SA (REP) and Statoil ASA (STO).