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A production licence is a concession which grants exclusive rights to conduct exploration drilling and production of oil and gas within a delimited area on the Shelf.
The ordinary licensing rounds, which include frontier parts of the Shelf, are normally held every other year. The Awards in Predefined Areas (APA), which comprise the mature parts of the Shelf, are announced annually.
Around 40 companies are active in production licences on the Norwegian Shelf. A large diversity of companies creates competition, and this promotes efficiency and value-creation both in the exploration and production phases.