International Politics ///

The Norwegian Arctic – the new frontier. Norwegian officials announced that huge areas in Norway’s northern waters will be open for bids as “awards in predefined areas” (APA). This signifies acreage in mature areas that were already open to exploration, but many were relinquished by licensees. This is according to the rule that after six years, half of the license area must be returned, as a contiguous area. The APA system was introduced in 2003. The 2006 APA is the fourth round of this kind, and it is the third largest grouping since the first licensing round in 1965. It has 192 blocks or partial blocks, an expansion of 11 blocks over last year’s APA. It opens large areas in the North, Norwegian and Barents Seas. Deadline for applications is Sept. 29, 2006, and licenses will be awarded by December 2006.

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