Norway grants 61 new offshore oil and gas exploration licenses
OSLO – Thirty companies have received offers of ownership interests in a total of 61 production licenses on the Norwegian Shelf in the Awards in Predefined Areas (APA) 2020.
The authorities assessed applications from a total of 33 companies during autumn 2020.
Of the 61 production licenses, 34 are in the North Sea, 24 are in the Norwegian Sea and 3 are in the Barents Sea. 12 of the production licenses are additional acreage to existing production licenses.
“This year’s award of 61 new production licenses to as many as 30 companies shows that the petroleum industry still has significant expectations of making profitable discoveries on the Norwegian Shelf,” says director license management in the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, Kalmar Ildstad.
“It’s positive that the companies are showing significant interest in exploring in areas with known geology, and close to existing infrastructure,” says Ildstad.
The player landscape in this APA award is very diverse. Both small companies and major international players are being offered exploration acreage.
Equinor has been awarded 17 new APA production licenses – 10 as operator and seven as partner.
“We are pleased about the awards that will be an important supplement to our exploration portfolio and form the basis for future discoveries to be realized in line with Equinor’s climate roadmap,” says Nick Ashton, Equinor's senior vice president for exploration Norway.
“We are living in very exciting times. Digitalization gives us new insight into the underground and an opportunity to find more oil and gas. At the same time, we are facing ever stricter requirements for CO2 emissions throughout the value chain, from discovery to consumption, and we must succeed in both areas. This is not an easy task, but it is highly rewarding to help solve it,” says Ashton.