Constantly more acreage available on the Norwegian shelf
30/01/2003 No sooner was the announcement of the 18th licensing round completed before the authorities announced new acreage in connection with awards in predefined areas (TFO 2004). In connection with TFO 2004 the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) will present the oil companies with a gift package containing specially organized information on the areas in the announcement.
By Øyvind Midttun
Not since the first licensing round in 1965 have the companies on the Norwegian shelf been able to explore in such large areas. When the 18th licensing round was announced before Christmas last year, this was the largest ordinary licensing round in nearly 40 years. Now, about a month later, the Government is making even more acreage available to the oil companies.
TFO (awards in predefined areas) 2004 includes areas on the entire shelf. The areas in the North Sea and the Norwegian Sea clearly predominate, but after the Government decided to open the southern part of the Barents Sea for year-round petroleum activities, acreage in this area has also been included. The areas are located in relation to the Snøhvit field.
The system for awards in predefined areas was introduced as a permanent system last year, as a continuation of the North Sea awards. The objective of the awards is to ensure that large areas near existing and planned infrastructure are made available to the industry.
This year's awards comprise a larger area than TFO 2003, where a total of 143 blocks or parts of blocks in the North Sea and the Norwegian Sea were announced. The areas in TFO 2004 may nevertheless expand because of new rules that stipulate that areas subject to licensing that are relinquished before the application deadline are to be incorporated into the TFO.
According to the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy this entails that all areas relinquished within the predefined area will automatically be deemed to have been announced at the time of relinquishment.
The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate now offers customized information on the areas in TFO 2004.
In addition to the NPD's FactPages and [Fact Maps] with access to large amounts of released information and data on the Norwegian shelf, the Directorate is now working on publishing [play models] and specially organized [well data] with the NPD's own interpretations in the area and Final Well Reports from production licenses that are more than 20 years old. A large part of this will provide valuable key information on the possibilities of finding oil and gas in the predefined areas.
Contact in the NPD:
Eldbjørg Vaage, tlf 51876100