Press release | Date: 2018-05-09 | Ministry of Petroleum and Energy| No: 22/18
Today, the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy is announcing this year’s licensing round in mature areas on the Norwegian continental shelf – Awards in Predefined Areas (APA) 2018.
- Awarding acreage in mature areas in annual APA-rounds is an important part of the Norwegian Government's commitment to a stable and long-term petroleum policy, says Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Mr. Terje Søviknes (Progressive Party).
In the APA 2018, the predefined area has been expanded by a total of 103 blocks - 47 blocks in the Norwegian Sea and 56 blocks in the Barents Sea. The expansion mainly includes blocks in the western part of the Norwegian Sea as well as areas east of the existing APA area in the Barents Sea.
- Access to prospective exploration acreage is crucial in order to make new petroleum discoveries. New discoveries on the Norwegian continental shelf ensure value creation, employment and Government revenues. An important pillar of the Government's policy is to facilitate oil companies in a continued safe and effective exploration in Norway, Minister Terje Søviknes continues.
The application deadline for companies is 12 noon on September 4th, 2018. The aim is to award new production licenses in the announced areas in the beginning of 2019.
The invitation to apply for petroleum production licenses, an updated map of the announced blocks, health, safety and environment (HSE), environmental and fisheries requirements and further information are available on the website of the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate.
Awards in Predefined Areas (APA), is one of two equal licensing rounds on the Norwegian continental shelf. The scheme was introduced in 2003 to facilitate exploration in geologically mature parts of the Shelf.
The APA area includes the geologically most mature parts of the Norwegian continental shelf. The expected size of discoveries in mature areas is smaller. Exploration mainly focuses on smaller discoveries that would not justify an independent development, but may be profitable if developed in conjunction with other discoveries and/or utilising existing or planned infrastructure.
In these areas, it is important with time critical exploration. Effective exploration requires predictability regarding which areas the companies can apply for in the APA-rounds, and requires a steady increase in the number of blocks included in the APA-area. Thus, the APA rounds are organized annually.
An evaluation is undertaken every year as to whether the APA area should be expanded. The area is expanded as new areas mature.
Petroleum activities in Norway are subject to stringent health, safety and environment requirements, as well as requirements to safeguard the external environment. Significant emphasis is placed on ensuring sound co-existence with other industries.