Considerable interest in APA 2007

46 companies applied for acreage in the Awards in Predefined Areas 2007 (APA 2007). This is tree companies more than in the previous year. "There is considerable interest in the acreage that was announced, and several new players have applied. This is very pleasing, and it shows that the APA system is working in line with government intentions," says Sissel Eriksen, Director in charge of exploration at the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate.

The 2007 award of acreage is the fifth one where awards are made in predefined areas (APA).

Sixteen companies applied in the APA 2003; 22 in APA 2004, 29 in APA 2005, while applications were received from 43 companies for APA 2006. In this APA round we have received applications from 46 companies. There has been a yearly increase in the areas in the APA scheme, with a larger area in the Barents Sea this year. APA 2003 comprised 143 blocks or parts of blocks; APA 2004 comprised 151 and APA 2005 192 blocks, while for APA 2006 the number had risen to 200 blocks or parts of blocks that could be applied for.

APA 2007 was announced on 16 February 2007, and a total of 196 blocks or parts of blocks were announced. By the application deadline this figure had risen to 197.

This represents a total area of 51 935 km2 at the time of announcement. At the application deadline on 28 September, the area had increased to 52 908 km2. APA 2007 is thus the sixth largest award round ever in terms of the size of the announced acreage.

The acreage is distributed as follows: (as of September 2007); 106 blocks/parts of blocks in the North Sea, 56 in the Norwegian Sea and 35 in the Barents Sea.

This acreage represents an increase from APA 2006 of 13 blocks/parts of blocks (at the time of announcement). The extra blocks that may be applied for are all located in the Barents Sea, cf. the map below.
The maps show the area covered by APA2007, where the darker pink represents the expansion compared with APA2006.

APA 2007 (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/January 2007/2008, according to a press release from the MPE.

These companies have applied for production licences in APA2007:
Aker Exploration AS 
AS Norske Shell
Bayerngas Norge AS 
BG Norge AS
Bridge Energy AS
Centrica Resources Norge AS
Concedo ASA
ConocoPhillips Skandinavia AS
Dana Petroleum Norway
Det Norske Oljeselskap AS
Discover Petroleum AS
E. ON Ruhrgas Norge AS
Edison International Spa
Endeavour Energy Norge AS
Eni Norge AS
Esso Norge AS
Excel Expro Norge AS
Faroe Petroleum Norge AS
Gaz de France Norge AS
Genesis Petroleum Norway AS
Hess Norge AS 
 Idemitsu Petroleum Norge AS 
Lundin Norway AS 
Maersk Oil Norway AS 
Nexen Exploration Norge AS 
Noble Energy Norge AS 
Norsk Hydro Produksjon AS 
 Norwegian Energy Company AS (NORECO) 
OMV Norge AS 
PA Resources Norway AS 
Pertra ASA 
Petro-Canada Norge AS 
Premier Oil Norge AS 
Revus Energy ASA 
Rocksource ASA 
RWE Dea Norge AS 
Sagex Petroleum Norge AS 
Skagen44 AS 
Skeie Energy 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.