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When the application deadline for Awards in Pre-defined Areas (APA 2017) expired on 1 September, the authorities had received applications from 39 companies. This is six more than in last year’s round.
Never before have so many applications been submitted in an APA round as this year.
“We are pleased to see a considerable increase in the number of applications for all areas on the shelf,” says exploration director Torgeir Stordal.
“It is very important that additional resources near existing infrastructure are identified in time, and it is good to see that the companies are prioritising this.”
The applications come from a mixture of small, medium and large companies. The applicants also include companies that are new to the Norwegian shelf.
The exploration director believes there are several reasons why the companies are still interested in exploring in the most mature and explored parts of the Norwegian shelf:
“A lot of new seismic has been acquired in recent years, which has contributed to an improved understanding of the subsurface. At the same time, cost reductions have contributed to improved profitability in the projects.”
Now the applications will be technically evaluated. The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate also looks at the applicants’ geological solutions and strategy for exploring the areas.
The authorities will announce which companies will receive interests in APA 2017 in the new year.
For the application deadline of 1 September, it was possible to apply for a total of 177 170 square kilometres, while it was possible to apply for 139 942 square kilometres last year.
The awards are scheduled for early 2017.