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08/01/2009 In 2008, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) acquired approximately 12 000 kilometres of 2D seismic data and 700 square kilometres of 3D seismic data in the Nordland VII and Troms II areas. The acquisition of seismic data started in the summer of 2007 and will be concluded in the summer of 2009. This activity is carried out on assignment from the Norwegian Government.
When the Storting considered the Comprehensive Management Plan (comprehensive management of the marine environment in the Barents Sea and the waters off Lofoten) in 2006, the NPD was assigned the task of acquiring geological/geophysical data in Nordland VII and Troms II, i.e. the waters outside Lofoten and Vesterålen.
These areas have not been opened for petroleum activities, but the political authorities wish to obtain more information about potential oil and gas resources in these areas. This knowledge will help form the basis for reconsideration of the Comprehensive Management Plan 2010.
For 2007, the Storting allocated NOK 70 million for this purpose, while the 2008 budget amounted to NOK 140 million.
2D seismic data was acquired in 2008 during the period 25 May to 14 September, while the 3D seismic data acquisition took place from 3-31 July.
In the summer of 2009, 3D seismic data acquisition will take place for a period of up to six weeks, from the end of June to the first week in August. Two vessels have been hired for this assignment. A minor acquisition of electromagnetic data may also take place during this six-week period.
The NPD is now working on planning the 3D seismic acquisition activities for this summer. The plan is expected to be completed in late February/early March and the final areas scheduled for acquisition of 3D seismic data will be determined in consultation with the fishery organisations.