Assistance to the petroleum sector, phase IV


Cooperating institution
Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM) Goals and objectives Contribute to economic and social development and poverty reduction by identifying and developing new areas for utilization of the country’s natural resources.

Secure an environmentally sound exploration and possible exploitation of petroleum resources by creating government level capacities.

Project period

Total budget
NOK 2.25 million

The programme included the following components:

  • Updating the petroleum database
  • Implementation of the monitoring system
  • Analysis of new seismic data
  • Updating and improving the national contingency plan for emergencies related to exploration and exploitation
  • Training MEM staff through seminars, workshops, and courses abroad
  • New promotional campaign

Oil for Development:
Mr. John Tore Vatnar,

Cooperating institutions in Norway
Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD)
Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA)
Climate and Pollution Agency (Klif)


Country facts


Official Name
Republic of Nicaragua


Chief of state
President Daniel Ortega Saavedra

Head of Government
President Daniel Ortega Saavedra

5 891 199 (2009 est.)

Petroleum sector, key figures
No oil or gas production (2009)

Organization of the sector
The Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM) (created in 2007)
– took over responsibility for regulating the hydrocarbons sector from the former
Nicaraguan Energy Institute (INE ).


Brief history of the project

Since the early 1990s, the NPD has assisted the Nicaraguan Energy Institute (Instituto Nicaraguence de Energía, INE), which was the state organization responsible for regulations, norms, control and taxation of the electricity and hydrocarbon sectors. On 1 March 2007, the hydrocarbons division of INE was transferred to MEM. The present programme is phase IV of the cooperation, which has been focused on assistance regarding the start-up of petroleum exploration. The first licensing round was held in 2003.

Work under the current phase IV cooperation contract commenced early 2008 after the signing of the MEM – NPD contract in November 2007.

A review of the project will be undertaken in 2010, and a decision on future cooperation with Nicaragua is to be taken following the review.


Activities in 2009

Training on seismic interpretation was implemented.

A workshop on promotion of foreign investment was organized.

One person participated in Petrad’s eight-week programme on Petroleum Development and Operations.


Key achievements in 2009

The seismic interpretation training and promotion workshop is likely to have increased the MEM’s competence within these areas.