Historical archive

APA 2021: Great interest in the Norwegian continental shelf

Historical archive

Published under: Solberg's Government

Publisher: Ministry of Petroleum and Energy

The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy has received applications from 31 companies in connection with the announcement of APA 2021.

- I am happy that the oil companies still see good opportunities on the Norwegian shelf. Exploration is important for maintaining activity and good resource management, and lays the foundation for value creation and safe jobs throughout the country, says Minister of Petroleum and Energy Tina Bru.

Allocation in predefined areas (APA) is the annual licensing round for the best-known exploration areas on the Norwegian shelf. It comprises the majority of the available exploration areas.

By the application deadline of 8 September, the Ministry had received applications from a total of 31 different companies. The Ministry does not publish the total number of applications because of competitive considerations.

The APA area is being expanded as geological knowledge in areas on the Norwegian shelf increases. In this year's licensing round, the predefined area was expanded in the North Sea, the Norwegian Sea and the Barents Sea.

APA 2021 was announced on 9 June 2021. The aim is to grant new production licenses in the announced areas at the beginning of 2022.

Full announcement text, updated map of announced blocks, HSE, environmental and fisheries conditions and further information is available on the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate's website.


Allocation in predefined areas (APA) was introduced in 2003 to facilitate timely exploration of the most geologically known parts of the shelf. In these areas, the expected discovery size decreases. There is a large-scale search for smaller discoveries that cannot justify an independent development, but can be profitable in connection with other discoveries and/or can use existing or planned infrastructure.

That is why it is important with timely exploration of these areas. Predictability about which areas it is possible to apply for in APA.rounds, and regular replenishment of new area is important to achieve effective exploration. APA rounds are therefore conducted annually.

Upon announcement, an assessment is made of whether the area covered by the APA area will be expanded. Professional assessments decide whether new areas are to be added to the APA area. The area expands as new areas are explored.

The petroleum activities in Norway take place under strict requirements for health, safety and the environment and the protection of the external environment. Great emphasis is placed on ensuring good coexistence with other industries.

List of companies that have applied:

  • Aker BP ASA
  • A / S Norske Shell
  • Chrysaor Norge AS
  • Concedo ASA
  • ConocoPhillips Skandinavia AS
  • DNO Norge AS
  • Equinor Energy AS
  • Idemitsu Petroleum Norge AS
  • INEOS E&P Norge AS
  • KUFPEC Norway AS
  • Lime Petroleum AS
  • Longboat Energy Norge AS
  • Lotos Exploration & Production Norge AS
  • Lundin Energy Norway AS
  • M Vest Energy AS
  • Neptune Energy Norge AS
  • OMV (Norway) AS
  • ONE Dyas Norge AS
  • Pandion Energy AS
  • Petrolia NOCO AS
  • PGNiG Upstream Norway AS
  • RN Nordic Oil AS
  • Source Energy AS
  • Spirit Energy Norge AS
  • Suncor Energy Norge AS
  • Sval Energi AS
  • TotalEnergies EP Norge AS
  • Vår Energi AS
  • Wellesley Petroleum AS
  • Wintershall Dea Norge AS