Historical archive

APA 2015: Considerable interest in further exploration of the Norwegian Continental Shelf

Historical archive

Published under: Solberg's Government

Publisher Ministry of Petroleum and Energy

The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy offers 56 exploration licenses on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS) in the Awards in Pre-defined Areas 2015 (APA 2015) licensing round.

- Access to prospective exploration acreage is a central element in the Government's policies and vital for the long-term activity on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. It is a very positive sign that the oil companies show such high interest in our most well-known areas, this enables me to offer awards in 56 exploration licenses. This year's APA round is among the largest ever awarded on the NCS. It will contribute to activity both in the oil companies and in the supply industry as exploration progresses, wells are drilled and discoveries are made, says Minister of Petroleum and energy Tord Lien (Progress Party).

The 56 exploration licenses are distributed over the North Sea (27), the Norwegian Sea (24) and the Barents Sea (5). 36 different oil companies, ranging from the international majors to small domestic exploration companies, are awarded ownership interests in one or more production license. 22 of these companies will be offered one or more operatorships. Every license awarded includes work-programme commitments.

- With today's announcement, we maintain a predictable and high level of awards to the oil companies, while securing diversity on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. Our licensing policy forms the basis for effective resource management, high value creation and employment. These are all important factors, particularly in light of the challenging situation in the industry, Minister Lien continues.

The APA licensing rounds cover the most explored areas on the Norwegian shelf. One of the primary challenges in mature areas is the expected decline in discovery size. Minor discoveries will not be able to carry standalone developments, but may have good profitability when they can exploit existing and planned processing equipment and transportation systems, or be seen in context with other discoveries or planned developments. Timely discovery and exploitation of such resources is therefore important.


  1. Map
  2. Award overview with work-program

Offer to 22 operators

(operatorships in brackets)


Bayerngas (1)

BP (1)

Capricorn (1)

Centrica (1)

ConocoPhillips (2)

Det norske oljeselskap (6)

Dong (2)

Edison (3)

ENI (2)

Faroe (2)

GdF SUEZ (1)

Lundin (2)

MOL (2)

OMV (2)

PGNiG (1)

Pure (2)

Shell (1)

Statoil (13)

Suncor (2)

Total (2)

Tullow (3)

Wintershall (4)

Offer to 36 licensees

(number of shares (including operatorships) in brackets)

Bayerngas (2)

BP (1)

Capricorn (5)

Centrica (6)

Concedo (6)

ConocoPhillips (2)

Core Energy (5)

Det norske oljeselskap (10)

Dong (4)

Edison (5)

E.ON (5)

ENI (4)

Faroe (6)

Fortis (4)

GdF SUEZ (1)


Lime (5)

Lundin (4)

MOL (5)

OMV (6)

Origo (3)

Petrolia (1)

PGNiG (4)

Premier Oil (1)

Pure (3)

Repsol (4)

Shell (3)

Skagen44 (3)

Spike (3)

Statoil (24)

Suncor (3)

Total (3)

Tullow (8)

VNG (4)

Wellesley (1)

Wintershall (7)