- There was a record level of interest last year as regards the number of applications. It is good to see that there is about the same interest in this year's APA, says exploration director Torgeir Stordal.
Most of the companies that are active on the Norwegian Shelf have submitted applications in this year's round, and we have also received applications from companies that are new to the Shelf.
While interest is greatest in the North Sea and the Norwegian Sea, we have to look all the way back to 2007 to find more interest in the Barents Sea in an APA round.
- This year's applications demonstrate that there is significant interest in exploring near existing fields and infrastructure, and it is positive that the companies want to identify potential additional resources, says Stordal.
- The APA area was expanded prior to this year's round, and we have noted interest in the expanded area, both in the Norwegian Sea and the Barents Sea.
Now the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate will start the work of evaluating the applications. Companies that are awarded production licences must possess technical expertise and a good understanding of geology. Financial strength and experience will also be emphasised.
When the application deadline expired, companies could apply for a total of 209 820 square kilometres, while in comparison 139 942 square kilometres were available in last year's APA round.
The authorities will announce which companies will be offered ownership interests in APA 2018 in the new year.