Offer of participating interests in APA 2008

Today, 18 December, offers have been issued for 34 new production licences on the Norwegian continental shelf. The offers have been issued subsequent to the authorities' consideration of applications submitted by 47 companies in the Awards in Predefined Areas (APA) 2008.

The deadline for the companies to respond is 9 January 2009.

21 of the 34 production licences are located in the North Sea, 11 are in the Norwegian Sea and two are in the Barents Sea.

Eight of the production licences are additional acreage in existing production licences. Three of these border on discoveries/fields.
40 companies will receive offers of participating interests. Five of these are new players. Nineteen companies will receive offers of operatorships and one of these, Lotos, has not previously been an operator on the Norwegian shelf.

Obligations are linked to the offers being extended. The authorities assume that nine firm wells will be drilled. Six of these will be drilled in the North Sea ((Det norske: 3, StatoilHydro: 1, Marathon: 1, Lundin:1). One well will be drilled in the Norwegian Sea (Wintershall) and two will be drilled in the Barents Sea (DONG).

As many as 21 of the production licences have "drill or drop" clauses. This means that the licensees have from one to three years to decide whether they want to drill a well. If the answer is no, then the production licence will lapse.

Acquisition of seismic data is a requirement in seven areas.

APA 2008 is historical, as this round includes an offer for production licence number 500 on the Norwegian Shelf. This licence comprises parts of block 16/1 in the North Sea, and the companies that have been offered this licence are Det norske oljeselskap ASA (operator, 35 per cent), Skeie Energy AS (35 per cent) and Spring Energy Norway AS (30 per cent).

APA 2008 was announced on 9 May 2008. The companies could apply for 215 blocks or parts of blocks by the deadline, which was 3 October 2008. This amounted to an area totaling 48,057 km2, distributed among 114 blocks/parts of blocks in the North Sea, 62 in the Norwegian Sea and 39 in the Barents Sea.

In the first APA round in 2003, the authorities received applications from 16 companies. Since then, the number of applicants has grown each year, with 46 companies submitting applications in APA 2007. At the same time, the available acreage under the APA scheme has also increased. In APA 2008, the area was increased by 19 blocks/parts of blocks as compared with APA 2007.

Press release from the Mistery of Petroleum and Energy (MPE)