Record number of applications in APA 2006

Tildeling i forhåndsdefinerte områder 2006 (TFO 2006) - utlysning1
43 companies applied for acreage in the Awards in Predefined Areas - APA 2006 (TFO 2006).

"This tremendous interest is very gratifying.  The number of companies applying gets larger every year.  This shows that the APA system is functioning as the authorities intended," says Bente Nyland, director in the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate with responsibility for exploration.

The award of acreage in 2006 is the forth such award under the system of awards in predefined areas (APA). Both the acreage and the number of applicants have grown every year.

In APA 2003 the authorities received applications from 16 companies, in APA 2004 there were 22. In APA 2005 the authorities recieved applications from 29 companies. Now the figure is 43. At the same time, the area covered under the APA system has also grown. APA 2003 covered 143 blocks or parts of blocks, APA 2004 covered 151 and APA 2005 covered 192 blocks og parts of blocks.

APA 2006 was announced on 20 February 2006 and a total of 192 blocks or parts of blocks were announced.

This constitutes an area totaling 59 361 km2.  When the deadline for applications expired on 29 September, the area had grown to 61 452 km2, thus making APA2006 the third largest licensing round ever in terms of available area.

The area is distributed as follows: 121 blocks/parts of blocks in the North Sea, 55 in the Norwegian Sea and 24 in the Barents Sea.

The area represents an expansion of 11 blocks/parts of blocks (as of the announcement date) compared with APA 2005.  These are distributed as follows: 7 blocks/parts of blocks in the North Sea, 4 in the Norwegian Sea.  There was no growth of blocks that could be applied for in the Barents Sea, see map below.

The maps show the area covered by APA2006, where the darker pink represents the expansion compared with APA2005.

APA 2006 (norwegian text)

The purpose of the APA system is to promote faster exploration in mature areas.  The system also provides flexibility in that the industry now knows which areas are available in mature parts of the shelf in the years to come.  New blocks will be added to the predefined areas each year as the shelf matures for petroleum activity, but the areas will not be restricted.  This will make it more attractive for new and smaller companies to set up business on the Norwegian shelf.

The predefined areas will include mature areas, both thoroughly explored acreage and acreage where there has been no exploration activity for a long time.  Consequently, there will also be focus on larger prospects in new exploration trends that have been or may be revealed with the aid of newer technology.

The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy (MPE) intends to award new production licenses during December 2006, according to a press release from the MPE.

These companies have applied for production licences in APA2006:
Aker Exploration AS
Altinex Oil AS
BG Norge AS
Bridge Energy
ConocoPhillips Skandinavia AS
Edison Spa
Endeavour Energy Norge AS
Ener Petroleum ASA
Eni Norge AS
E. ON Ruhrgas Norge AS
Esso Norge AS
Gaz de France Norge AS
Idemitsu Petroleum Norge AS
Hess Norge AS
Lundin Norway AS
Maersk Oil Exploration Norway as
Marathon Petroleum Norge AS
Nexen Petroleum
Noble Energy Europe Ltd.
Norsk Hydro Produksjon a.s
Norwegian Energy Company AS (NORECO)
OMV Norge AS
PA Resources Norway AS
Pertra AS
Petro-Canada Norge AS
Premier Oil Norge AS
Revus Energy AS
RWE Dea Norge AS
Statoil ASA
Svenska Petroleum Exploration Norge AS
Talisman Energy Norge AS
Total E&P Norge AS,
VNG Norge AS
Wintershall Norge AS

Contact in the NPD:
Eldbjørg Vaage Melberg, tel. +47 51 87 61 00