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Norway’s Ministry of Petroleum and Energy has launched the annual licensing round, seeking bids for mature areas in the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS).

The country’s Awards in Predefined Areas 2021 (APA 2021) licensing round offers oil companies with 84 blocks located in the North Sea, the Norwegian Sea and the Barents Sea.

The deadline for interested firms to submit their applications is 8 September 2021. The government plans to award new production licences during the first quarter of next year.

Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy Tina Bru said: “Announcement and allocation of exploration area is important to maintain the level of activity on the Norwegian shelf. It contributes to good resource management, creates great value for the community and secures jobs across the country.

“The announcement of this APA round is in line with the government’s long-term policy for the petroleum industry. It is also within the framework for the industry, which is agreed upon by a broad majority in the Parliament.”

In January 2021, the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy awarded 30 oil companies with ownership interests in 61 production licences on the NCS, in the APA 2020 licensing round.

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By GlobalData

Introduced in 2003, APA aims to facilitate exploration in the geologically prominent parts of the NCS.

Although the expected size of discoveries from these mature areas is smaller, it would be feasible and profitable when developed in conjunction with other discoveries or by utilising the existing or planned infrastructure.