23rd licensing round – strong interest in new exploration acreage in the North

26 companies in total have submitted applications to the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy for new exploration acreage in the 23rd licensing round on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. The Government announced the 23rd round on the 20th of January 2015.

 "New exploration acreage is crucial for long-term activity and value creation in the petroleum sector, and thus employment throughout the country. It is therefore encouraging that so many companies have submitted applications, and that there is competition for many of the blocks, in particular for the newly opened area off the coast of East Finnmark," says Minister of Petroleum and Energy Tord Lien.

The 23rd licensing round particularly targets the part of the Barents Sea, which the Norwegian parliament (Stortinget) decided to open for petroleum activity in 2013.

 "The fact that such a diverse group of companies are competing for new exploration acreage in the Barents Sea is promising for the future of petroleum activity in the North. The plan is to award new licences before summer, so that the first drilling activity can be carried out as early as in 2017," Lien continues.

57 blocks or parts of blocks were announced on the 20th of January of this year: 54 blocks in the Barents Sea and three in the Norwegian Sea.

Applications have been received from different types of companies: major international companies, medium-sized companies, as well as smaller companies. The Ministry will now process the received applications. 

More information about the 23rd licensing round can be found in the here, including a map of the announced blocks.

The plan is to award new licences in the 23rd licensing round before the summer of 2016. 

The following companies have applied for production licences:

A/S Norske Shell

BP Norge AS

Capricorn Norge AS

Centrica Resources (Norge) AS

Chevron Norge AS

ConocoPhillips Skandinavia AS

DEA Norge AS

Det norske oljeselskap ASA

DONG E&P Norge AS

E.ON E&P Norge AS

Edison Norge AS

Faroe Petroleum Norge AS

Idemitsu Petroleum Norge AS

INPEX Norge AS

KUFPEC Norway AS

Lukoil Overseas North Shelf AS

Lundin Norway AS

Moeco Oil & Gas Norge AS

OMV (Norge) AS

PGNiG Upstream International AS

Pure E&P Norway AS

RN Nordic Oil AS

Spike Exploration AS

Statoil Petroleum AS

Tullow Oil Norge AS

Wintershall Norge AS