21st licensing round - announcement

On 23 June 2010, the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy (MPE) announced the 21st licensing round encompassing 94 blocks/parts of blocks, of which 43 are in the Norwegian Sea and 51 in the Barents Sea.

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate’s (NPD’s) Director for Exploration, Sissel Eriksen, says that a predictable, fact-based licence award policy is a cornerstone of Norwegian resource management.

”In this round, the authorities have paved the way for a major commitment in the sea areas outside Northern Norway. The blocks announced in the Barents Sea are important for continued research. The wells drilled here can provide information that could lead to the opening of new areas for exploration,” comments Eriksen.

The NPD is concerned with sequential exploration, in other words, that new blocks are awarded on the basis of knowledge gained from previously awarded areas. There are still work commitments in play that could provide important information in previously awarded blocks in the Barents Sea.

“There are still good opportunities for discoveries in the Norwegian Sea. Several blocks have been announced in areas where production licences have already been awarded and discoveries have been made. It could be important in these areas to prove additional resources that could provide a basis for coordinated development. The practice of step-by-step exploration is also being continued, which is why blocks to the west, where there are challenges including basalt, have been announced,” says Eriksen.

When the deadline expired on 13 January 2010, 43 companies had nominated a total of 307 blocks for the 21st licensing round, 138 of which were nominated by two or more companies.

The application deadline is 3 November 2010, and licence awards will take place in the spring of 2011. More knowledge about the accident involving the Deepwater Horizon drilling facility in the Gulf of Mexico will be part of the decision basis.


Contacts in the NPD


Relevant links:


Tables to be included in application:

Other Information for the application: