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The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy (MPE) has today issued an offer of new production licences in the 23rd licensing round on the Norwegian continental shelf. All ten production licences are located in the Barents Sea.
The offers have been issued following the authorities’ assessment of applications from 26 companies.
When the 23rd licensing round was announced in January 2015, it also marked 50 years since the announcement of the very first licensing round on the Norwegian shelf. For the first time since 1994, new exploration acreage has been made available to the industry in the southeastern Barents Sea.
Director of Exploration Sissel Eriksen is very pleased with the results of this round so far. “I am eagerly awaiting the result of the first exploration well,” she says.
Three production licences have been awarded in the new area in the southeastern Barents Sea. The authorities have prepared binding work programmes that include a requirement for four exploration wells within three years in the three production licences in the southeastern Barents Sea. The exploration director is hopeful that the first exploration well will be in place as early as next year.
In addition to the three production licences in the southeastern Barents Sea, Sissel Eriksen mentions the new blocks awarded in the area surrounding the Alta and Wisting discoveries, with a view to strengthen the resource base for future developments.
She also emphasises that the areas awarded are important in the search for more knowledge about the Barents Sea generally, for the benefit of further exploration of the area.
Preparations for the 23rd licensing round began on 28 August 2013, when the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy invited the oil companies to nominate blocks they thought should be included in the announcement. The round was announced on 20 January 2015, with deadline for applications on 2 December.
The fact pages of the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate will be updated when a final decision has been made by the Council of State.
The final outlines will be published on the NPD's Factpages after the awards are approved by the King in Council. Please note that there may be changes in the areas, depending on whether the companies accept the offer.