Statoil Seeking New Offshore Licenses

New Norwegian offshore licenses are being sought by Statoil under the government's first annual TFO scheme covering awards in pre-defined areas. As the name implies, these rounds offer oil companies the opportunity to apply for exploration acreage in parts of the continental shelf which have been identified in advance. Replacing the former North Sea rounds, the 2003 TFO scheme covers a total of 143 full and part blocks in mature areas of the North and Norwegian Seas close to existing infrastructure. A gradual expansion of the scheme is due to be assessed. Companies can apply at any time between January 1st and October 1st, with awards due to be made by the end of the same year.

"As the main player on the NCS for both exploration and production, we believe strongly in its potential," says Oivind Dahl-Stamnes. He heads the business development and support sector in the exploration unit of Exploration & Production Norway (UPN). "We've accordingly opted to apply for new production licenses both in the North Sea and in the Halten-Nordland area of the Norwegian Sea in this TFO round."