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The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy has received proposals from 40 companies regarding which blocks they believe should be included in the 23 rd licensing round on the Norwegian shelf.
The deadline for nominations was 14 January.
37 companies participated in the nominations for the previous licensing round.
160 blocks or parts of blocks have been nominated, 86 blocks have been nominated by two or more companies.
"It is gratifying to see such significant interest in this round. We see that the blocks nominated by the companies coincide with the NPD's views on potential resources, both for the new areas in the south-eastern Barents Sea and in the areas around the new discoveries in the Barents Sea," says Sissel Eriksen, exploration director in the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate.
The companies were asked to focus on the new areas in the south-eastern Barents Sea, but there is also considerable interest in the rest of the Barents Sea and the Norwegian Sea.
”This is probably linked to the exciting discoveries made in recent years," comments the exploration director.
The oil companies have expressed their views on which blocks they consider interesting. Now the authorities will draw up a proposal for which blocks will be announced.
This proposal will be subject to a public consultation process, where all relevant public interests have been invited to give their opinion. The Government will decide which blocks will be announced based on an overall assessment.
The companies were invited to nominate blocks on 28 August 2013. In accordance with the practice followed in recent licensing rounds, the companies were encouraged to limit their nominations to the 15 blocks they deem most interesting.
The further schedule for the 23rd licensing round will be determined following the public consultation process.
Nils Rune Sandstå, tel. +47 51 87 64 34