Inpex subsidiary Inpex Norge has secured exploration licences PL1027 in the western Barents Sea and PL1016 in the northern Norwegian Sea, offshore Norway.

Granted as part of Norway’s Awards in Predefined Areas (APA) 2018 licensing round, the licences provide the groundwork for the company’s third and fourth exploration projects in the country.

They are also expected to further enhance Inpex’s global project portfolio.

Before evaluating the possibility of discovering hydrocarbon deposits through exploration activities, the company plans to follow the required administrative procedures involving Norwegian authorities, the licences’ operators and partners.

Located in the western Barents Sea, PL1027 covers a surface area of approximately 1,220km² in a water depth of 440m.

“The licences provide the groundwork for the company’s third and fourth exploration projects in the country.”

Lundin operates PL1027 with a 40% stake. Inpex, DEA and DNO each hold 20% stake.

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PL1016 is also located 250km offshore Norway and covers a surface area of 1,310km². The water depth ranges between 350m and 1,000m.

The licence is operated by OMV with a 60% stake, while the remaining 40% is owned by Inpex.

Inpex also secured a 40% participating interest in exploration licence PL767B as a part of the APA 2018 licensing round.

This is an extension to exploration licence PL767 in which Inpex acquired a 40% interest in 2017.

Inpex said that the acquisition of these licences is aligned to its aim of the ‘sustainable growth of oil and natural gas E&P activities’.

Through Inpex Norge, full-scale oil and natural gas exploration and development activities are to take place in Norway.