The Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy has awarded 30 oil companies with ownership interests in 61 production licences for exploration acreage on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS).
Of the 61 licences awarded in APA 2020 licensing round, 24 are in the Norwegian Sea, 34 are in the North Sea, and the remaining three are in the Barents Sea.
The ministry said that the licences have been awarded to the companies with work-programme commitments or as additional areas to such licences.
Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy Tina Bru said: “I am pleased to offer 61 new production licences in this year’s APA round to a diverse range of companies.
“These companies have shown great interest in gaining access to new exploration acreage, illustrating the industry’s confidence in continued profitability from exploration on the Norwegian continental shelf. This is good news for the Norwegian state as resource owner.”
Lundin Energy subsidiary Lundin Energy Norway secured the 19 licences during the APA 2020 licensing round. It has been awarded operatorship stake across seven of the licences.
Norwegian firm Equinor has also been awarded 17 licences and will serve as operator for ten licences.
Equinor Norway exploration senior vice-president Nick Ashton said: “We are pleased about the awards that will be an important supplement to our exploration portfolio and form the basis for future discoveries to be realised in line with Equinor’s climate roadmap.”
Other firms that received the licences include German oil and gas firm Wintershall, Aker BP, Vår Energi, and Norwegian oil and gas company DNO.