Requirements for new players on the Norwegian Continental Shelf
The Norwegian authorities facilitate the establishment of new players on the shelf, since this could contribute to increased value creation.
As a result of this, the general requirement for new players is that they must be able to use their technical petroleum expertise to provide independent contributions to this value creation. At the same time, it is also important that new players possess HSE expertise which helps bolster safety on the shelf.
Players on the Norwegian shelf must have a minimum of expertise in all relevant disciplines in order to be able to analyse, understand and follow up activities in the production licences. The players must have sufficient dedicated capacity and expertise to safeguard their obligations in relation to requirements in the petroleum regulations. An organisation consisting of a minimum of 8-9 people with technical and HSE expertise will therefore be necessary.
Beyond this minimum expertise, players should possess cutting-edge expertise within relevant disciplines in order to contribute to value creation. New players are expected to be able to contribute their own technical assessments which challenge and complement the other licensees.
The player must also be able to document its ability to service financial obligations. Among other things, this means that the player must have a solid foundation of equity, as well as a reasonable ratio between equity and debt. Certain players may also be required to present a plan for financial obligations for their first years of activity on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. Requirements for the player's financial situation must be viewed in relation to the tasks the player has taken upon itself. The financial capacity assessment will be of a more general nature, while at the same time, it may be relevant to set more concrete financial requirements for the player in connection with concrete applications for transfers or awards.
Players seeking an operator role will be subject to more extensive requirements than is the case for other licensees. Operators themselves must have sufficient resources and personnel to manage and implement all activities pursuant to prevailing relevant regulations. In the HSE area, the regulations contain requirements for players seeking to become a licensee, including an operator.
The final evaluation as to whether a pre-qualified player is qualified to be a licensee or operator is made in connection with a concrete application for an ownership interest/operatorship, which will also take into account operational and specific aspects associated with the production licence.