Offers for ownership interests in APA 2012

Today, January 15th, offers were sent to 40 companies for 51 new production licences on the Norwegian continental shelf.

The offers were given after the authorities had evaluated applications from 47 companies for Awards in Pre-defined Areas (APA) 2012.

Of the 51 production licences, 34 are located in the North Sea, 14 in the Norwegian Sea and 3 in the Barents Sea. 15 of the production licences are additional acreage to existing production licences. Two of the new licences are divided stratigraphically and only apply to levels below/above a defined stratigraphic boundary.

Of the companies that applied, 40 will be offered interests in at least one production licence. 23 of the companies will be offered operatorships. Petoro will hold shares in 17 production licences as the manager of the State’s Direct Financial Interest (SDFI).

”Interest in available acreage in this year's APA was record-high, with the greatest interest in the North Sea and significant competition for some areas. We see that a lot of good work has gone into most of the applications, and some players have submitted very interesting concepts," says NPD exploration director Sissel Eriksen.

The offers are subject to obligations stipulated by the authorities. There is a requirement for acquisition of new seismic data in eight areas. For the other production licences there are ”drill or drop” conditions. This means that the licensees have from one to three years in which to make a decision to drill a well. If they do not wish to do so, the production licence lapses.

Since the first APA round in 2003, the APA acreage has been expanded several times and for the APA 2012 comprised a total of 196,625 square kilometres, an increase of 10,325 square kilometres. APA 2012 was announced on March 30th 2012. At the deadline of September 6th 2012, the area available for applications consisted of 107,866 square kilometers out of this total.

Sissel Eriksen believes that the APA scheme functions well, and as intended. The industry has a predictable framework, and the authorities achieve their objective of more rapid turnover of acreage and stable exploration activity.

The scheme also ensures that the industry secures regular access to exploration acreage and that acreage is relinquished more quickly. About 149 previously awarded APA licences have been relinquished, thus making the acreage available for new players.

Contacts at the NPD:

Janka Rom, tlf. 51 87 67 75
Even Gillebo, tlf. 51 87 64 04