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Increased Exploration Activity in Mature Areas

Source: 3/11/2011, Location: Europe

The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy announced Awards in Predefined Areas 2011. The Areas comprise the predefined areas with blocks in the North Sea, the Norwegian Sea and the Barents Sea. With this announcement prospective blocks for exploration activities in mature areas of the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS) are being made available to the industry. Awards of new production licenses are planned to take place late 2011 / early 2012.

- Through a large expansion of the area announced in this year's APA round, I wish to lay the foundation for a swift and efficient exploration of the ocean areas outside Nordland. Our aim is increased exploration activity and rapid development of discoveries in the area, says Minister of Petroleum and Energy Ola Borten Moe.

In the Awards in Predefined Areas (APA) 2011 the predefined area has been expanded with in total 62 blocks or parts of blocks when compared to the APA 2010. 56 new blocks or parts of blocks are made available in the Norwegian Sea and 6 in the North Sea.

- With an efficient and tailor-made progress for the north-eastern part of the Norwegian Sea, the areas near Jan Mayen, and the unopened parts of the southern Barents Sea, the government has put forward a long-term program to ensure a stable level of activity on the Norwegian Continental Shelf over time, says the Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Mr. Ola Borten Moe.

The deadline for submission of applications is 12.00 am on 14 September 2011.

Awards in Predefined Areas is the annual licensing round for award of licenses in mature areas on the NCS, established in 2003. Together with the numbered rounds, which focus on frontier areas, the APA ensures that companies maintain focus on all open areas on the NCS.

The APA-round is held once a year in mature areas while numbered rounds has been held every second year. The purpose of both rounds is to ensure a stable level of activity and production on the Norwegian shelf.

All areas opened for petroleum activities and not withheld from such activity through integrated management plans will be available for announcement in licensing rounds or included in the APA area. Within the framework established by the integrated management plans, the petroleum authorities decide if and when new areas are included in the APA area.

The Ministry will, when awarding new licenses in the future, base the environmental- and fishery requirements according to the established management plan for the relevant areas. However, there will not be set additional environmental- or fishery requirements in the period towards the updating of the existing management plans.

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