Norway awards 56 exploration licenses to 22 operators in APA 2015


OSLO – Norway’s Ministry of Petroleum and Energy has offered 56 exploration licenses on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS) in the Awards in Pre-defined Areas 2015 (APA 2015) licensing round.

The exploration licenses are distributed over the North Sea (27), the Norwegian Sea (24) and the Barents Sea (5).

Thirty six different oil companies, ranging from the international majors to small domestic exploration companies, were awarded ownership interests in one or more production license. Twenty two of these companies will be offered one or more operatorship. Every license awarded includes work-program commitments.

“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,” Minister of Petroleum and Energy Tord Lien said. “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.”

The APA licensing rounds cover the most explored areas on the NCS.

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.

Operatorships were awarded to the companies listed below.

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)


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