Acquisitions 47 companies seek Norway licences The Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy has said that 47 companies have shown interest in this year’s offered exploration licences in predefined areas. These are expected to be awarded in January 2013. The Authorities received all the applications for Awards in Predefined Areas 2012 (APA 2012). A preliminary count indicates that 47 companies have applied for acreage. This result shows that there is still considerable interest in new acreage and previously awarded and explored areas in predefined areas in the North Sea, the Norwegian Sea and the Barents Sea. There are as many applicants as the record year of 2008, and there are three new companies among the applicants this year. Proximity to existing facilities means that development of small discoveries is both more profitable and faster than developments in less mature areas of the shelf. High oil prices in recent years also contributes significantly to a high level of exploration activity, which resulted in important discoveries as seen in recent years. When the application deadline expired on 6 September, it was possible to apply for a total of 107 940 square kilometres divided among 388 blocks or parts of blocks. Large amounts of acreage are relinquished each year within the APA-area, and are included in the area the companies can apply for. In APA 2011, the authorities received applications from 43 companies for acreage totalling 108 430 square kilometres. Of this, 21 372 square kilometres was awarded in early 2012. The APA scheme contributes to better and faster exploration of mature areas on the Norwegian shelf. New players with new ideas and exploration targets have yielded more new discoveries in mature areas of the Norwegian shelf. The scheme ensures that the industry has regular access to prospective acreage, and that acreage is relinquished and made available to new players in a timely manner. l In June, the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy (MPE) has announced the 22 nd licensing round on the Norwegian shelf. Eighty-six blocks/parts of blocks are being announced in this round; 14 in the Norwegian Sea and 72 in the Barents Sea. “The interest in exploring in the Barents Sea has increased considerably after Statoil and the licence partners found oil and gas on “Skrugard” (7220/8-1) in 2011. More exploration is now taking place throughout the southern Barents Sea, and there is renewed optimism and expectation of discoveries. This licensing round will contribute to maintaining the activity level in this area and to clarifying the resource potential in the Barents Sea,” says Sissel Eriksen, exploration director in the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate. The application deadline is 4 December 2012 at 12:00. The Government intends to award new production licences before summer 2013.
UT2 August 2012
The August edition of UT3, the magazine of the SUT