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When the application deadline for awards in pre-defined areas (APA) 2016 expired on 6 September, the authorities had received applications from 33 companies.
“It is very positive that so many companies still believe that more oil and gas can be discovered on the most mature parts of the shelf. We have received many exciting applications,” says Sissel Eriksen, exploration director in the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate.
The companies have applied for acreage on the whole shelf. The companies are most interested in the North Sea and the Norwegian Sea.
“The APA scheme is important for maintaining the activity level and realising the values on the shelf. The application volume has remained consistently high in recent years, and this demonstrates that the companies also prioritise exploration in mature areas during times with challenging cost and price regimes.”
Now the work on the technical evaluation of the applications begins. The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate is also evaluating the applicants’ geological concepts and strategy for exploring the areas.
At the application deadline of 6 September 2016, companies could apply for a total of 139 942 square kilometres, while the available area in APA 2015 was 127 608 square kilometres. The number of applicants for APA 2016 is somewhat lower than for APA 2015.
APA 2016 was announced on 17 March 2016.
The awards are scheduled for early 2017.