Norway’s Ministry of Petroleum and Energy has launched this year’s Awards in Predefined Areas (APA), comprising the predefined areas with blocks in the North Sea, the Norwegian Sea and the Barents Sea.

The ministry has extended predefined areas with more blocks since APA 2015.

New areas that are added in the APA 2016 include 24 blocks in the Norwegian Sea and 32 blocks in the Barents Sea.

The ministry is seeking applications for any blocks or parts of blocks within the predefined areas that are not already included in a licence three months before the last date for application.

The application deadline is 6 September and the awards are expected to be announced during the first quarter of next year.

It can be considered that acreage, which is not available in the application period, was announced at the time of governmental approved relinquishment.

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"New areas that are added in the APA 2016 include 24 blocks in the Norwegian Sea and 32 blocks in the Barents Sea."

As per the ministry’s invitation, licences will only be awarded to joint stock companies that are registered in Norway, or in another state party to the agreement on the European economic area.

Companies that are not licensees on the Norwegian Continental Shelf will get the licences if they are pre-qualified on the Norwegian Shelf.

In January, the ministry announced that 56 new production licences were offered on the Norwegian continental shelf as part of APA 2015.

Of the total licences, 27 of them are in the North Sea, 24 in the Norwegian Sea and five in the Barents Sea.

Image: Map showing available acreage within predefined areas at the time of announcement. Photo: courtesy of Norwegian Petroleum Directorate.