Never before have this many production licences been awarded in an APA round (Awards in Pre-defined Areas), and never before have this many applications been submitted.
New licences are being awarded in the expanded APA area in both the Norwegian Sea and the Barents Sea. Of the 75 production licences, 45 are in the North Sea, 22 in the Norwegian Sea and 8 in the Barents Sea. Twenty-two of the production licences are additional acreage for existing production licences. Three of the new licences are divided stratigraphically, and only relate to levels below/above a defined stratigraphic border.
“It is positive that the companies are showing so much interest in exploring in the mature areas on the Norwegian shelf, where it is still possible to exploit existing infrastructure. It is also positive that the companies have shown interest in the expanded APA area in both the Norwegian Sea and the Barents Sea,” says Wenche Tjelta Johansen, assistant director responsible for exploration in the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate.
“We see that the companies have identified new plays based on new seismic, and new technology. That is exciting,” says Johansen.
There is great diversity in the player landscape in this year's APA awards, ranging from small to major international companies. Of the 39 companies that submitted applications, 34 will be offered ownership interests in at least one production licence.