The Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy has offered production licences to Equinor and six other companies in the 25th licensing round for oil and gas exploration blocks.

The other are firms are Norske Shell, Idemitsu Petroleum Norge, Ineos E&P Norge, Lundin Energy Norway, OMV (Norway), and Vår Energi,

These companies have received ownership interests in a total of four production licences (PL), including PL 1055 B, PL 1072 B, PL 1133 and PL 1134.

Of these licences, three are in the Barents Sea and one licence in the Norwegian Sea.

Equinor has been offered production licences PL 1133 and PL 1134 in the Hoop area in the Barents Sea.

Equinor subsurface senior vice-president Jez Averty said: “A steady access to acreage contributes positively to the development of the Norwegian Continental Shelf.

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By GlobalData

“This award brings opportunities for exploring volumes near planned infrastructure. We prioritise exploring for resources that meet our requirements both for profitability and reduced carbon emissions.”

Announced in November 2020, the 25th licencing round involved nine different areas including eight in the Barents Sea and one in the Norwegian Sea.

The government’s petroleum policy aims to provide a predictable framework for long-term profitable oil and gas production.

The policy focuses on exploring all opened areas on the NCS, including the least explored parts of the shelf (frontier areas) that were involved in numbered licencing rounds.

Earlier this month, Norway launched Awards in Predefined Areas 2021 (APA 2021) licensing round seeking bids from oil companies for 84 blocks located in the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS).

APA, which was introduced in 2003, aims to facilitate exploration in the geologically prominent parts of the NCS.