Press release – Announcement of APA 2015

The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy is today announcing this year’s licensing round for the geologically well know areas on the Norwegian Continental Shelf – Awards in Predefined Areas (APA) 2015. The objective is to award new production licences in these areas at the beginning of 2016. The application deadline is 2. September 2015 at 12:00 pm.

“History has shown us that the APA-rounds have been very important for the value-creation and for the activity-level on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.  I am therefore very pleased to be able to announce this year’s APA-round where a significant number of blocks have been added. APA 2015 is yet another example of how this Government delivers on its promises from the Sundvolden-declaration with regards to maintaining a predictable and high pace of new awards”– says Minister of Petroleum and Energy Mr. Tord Lien (Progress Party).

In APA 2015 there is an expansion of the predefined area by 35 blocks in the Norwegian Sea, including blocks close to the Aasta Hansteen  field and the Pil and Bue discoveries at Haltenbanken. In the Barents Sea, the area has been expanded with 11 blocks close to the Alta and Gohta-discoveries. The announcement has been subject to a public consultation process. 

“The expansion of the APA-area in the Norwegian Sea and  in the Barents Sea in APA 2015 opens up for effective exploration of the areas near several discoveries and close to the Aasta Hansteen-field. This is good resource management, and will be important for the activity-level and the value-creation, especially in the northern region” -  Minister Lien continues. 

The complete announcement text, an updated map of the announced blocks, (HSE), environmental and fisheries conditions and further information are available on the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate website. 

Map in pdf: Predefined areas

Background
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 of geologically well known parts of the shelf using current methods.

The APA area includes the geologically best known parts of the Norwegian continental shelf. The expected size of discoveries in these areas is decreasing. Exploration largely focuses on smaller discoveries that may not justify an independent development but could be profitable if developed in conjunction with other discoveries and/or by utilising existing or planned infrastructure. Timely exploration of these areas is therefore important. Effective exploration requires predictability regarding areas that may be applied for under the APA system and in general - a steady stream of new acreage. The APA rounds are therefore organised annually.

An evaluation of whether the area covered by the system (the APA area) should be expanded is undertaken every year. Tecnical petroleum assessments determine whether new areas should be added to the APA area. The area is expanded as new areas are explored.