The Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy received a record response for the Awards in Predefined Areas (APA) 2017 round, with a total of 39 companies submitting applications for new acreage on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS).
The 39 applications, which had a deadline of 1 September, more than doubled last year’s APA round, and is about 20% more than the previous record number of applications received in APA 2014.
The Ministry says that the significant increase is from a broad variety of companies.
“Applications have been received from large international companies, from the established mid-size companies and from smaller exploration companies. A number of newly established companies with no prior record on the NCS also applied for acreage in this year’s APA-round,” the Ministry announced in a statement.
Companies that applied include: Shell, Aker BP, Bayerngas, Capricorn, Centrica Resources, Concedo, ConocoPhillips Skandinavia, DEA, DNO, Dong E&P, ENGIE E&P, Eni, Exxon, Faroe Petroleum, Fortis Petroleum, Idemitsu Petroleum, Inpex, Kufpec, Lime Petroleum, Lotos, Lundin Norway, Maersk, M Vest Energy, MOL, OKEA, OMV, Pandion Energy, Petrolia, PGNiG, Point Resources, Repsol, Skagen 44, Statoil, Suncor Energy, Total, Tyr Exploration, VNG, Wellesley Petroleum, and Wintershall.
In the 2017, the Ministry expanded the predefined areas to a total of 87 blocks, with 34 blocks in the Norwegian Sea, and 53 blocks in the Barents Sea. The expansion includes blocks west in the Norwegian Sea and areas around Wisting, Alta and Gohta in the Barents Sea.
“Further exploration activity is vital to future value creation and employment on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. This in turn is important with reference to financing the welfare state. Therefore, I am very happy that such a diverse group of companies has delivered a record number of applications for new exploration acreage,” says Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy Terje Søviknes (The Progress Party).
The Ministry expects to award the new production licenses in early-2018.