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Record High Interest in Exploration on Norwegian Continental Shelf

Source: 9/6/2017, Location: Europe

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Not since the APA-scheme was established in 2003 has The Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy received as many applications as it did in this year's APA-round (Awards in Predefined Areas).

At the application deadline on September 1st , a total of 39 companies had submitted applications for new acreage in the best known areas on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS) in this year's licensing round in mature areas (APA 2017).The number of applications received is more than 50 per cent higher than in last year's APA-round, and approximately 20 per cent higher than the previous record number of applications received in APA 2014.

Further exploration activity is vital to future value creation and employment on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.This in turn is important with reference to financing the welfare state. Therefore, I am very happy that such a diverse group of companies has delivered a record number of applications for new exploration acreage, says Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy Terje Soviknes (The Progress Party).

There is a significant increase in the number of applicant companies from last year, with a broad variety of companies among the applicants. Applications have been received from large international companies, from the established mid-size companies and from smaller exploration companies. A number of newly established companies with no prior record on the NCS also applied for acreage in this year's APA-round.

Our petroleum resources represent a wide variety of business-opportunities. The diversity of companies applying is in itself important in order to achieve the best way to explore all the different opportunities for value-creation, and thus, good resource management. The APA-area was significantly enlarged in both the Norwegian Sea and the Barents Sea during the preparation for this year's licensing round. These are interesting applications covering both inside the recent expansion and in the previously announced APA-areas.

The record high interest confirms that the oil companies see opportunities on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. This shows that the Government's petroleum policy has the desired effect, which is vital to employment and to our revenue-stream from Norway's most important industry in the decades to come. Stable framework conditions are an important part of this picture, Minister Terje S?viknes continues.


Awards in Predefined Areas (APA) are the annual licensing round for the best know areas on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. The purpose of the APA-scheme is to stimulate timely, rapid and effective exploration of the Norwegian Continental Shelf. The scheme contributes to good resource management by facilitating profitable development also from smaller discoveries. The APA-area is expanded each year as the geological knowledge in areas on the NCS increases.

APA 2017 was announced on the 2nd. May 2017. More information can be found under APA 2017. The MPE will award new production licenses in the announced areas at the beginning of 2018.

The companies that have applied are: Norske Shell, Aker BP, Bayerngas Norge, Capricorn Norge, Centrica Resources (Norge), Concedo, ConocoPhillips Skandinavia, DEA Norge, DNO Norge, Dong E&P Norge, ENGIE E&P Norge, ENI Norge, ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Norway, Faroe Petroleum Norge, Fortis Petroleum Norway, Idemitsu Petroleum Norge, INPEX Norge, Kufpec Norway, Lime Petroleum, Lotos Exploration & Production Norge, Lundin Norway, Maersk Norge, M Vest Energy, MOL Norge, OKEA, OMV (Norge), Pandion Energy, Petrolia NOCO, PGNiG Upstream Norway, Point Resources, Repsol Norge, Skagen 44, Statoil Petroleum, Suncor Energy Norge, Total E&P Norge, Tyr Exploration, VNG Norge, Wellesley Petroleum, Wintershall Norge.

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