Norway's energy giant Statoil has been awarded shares in eight exploration licences on the Norwegian continental shelf, the company has announced.
Statoil is operator of six of the licences.
The Norwegian authorities' awards in predefined areas in 2009 (TFO2009) constitute the seventh round since the inception of mature area awards in 2003, the company said.
The award, which comprises 38 production licences, is split into 25 for the North Sea, ten for the Norwegian Sea and three for the Barents Sea.
Statoil was given shares in six North Sea licences and two Norwegian Sea licences. The company said it did not apply for shares in the Barents Sea this time.
"We are very pleased with this year's awards," said Tove Stuhr Sjøblom, senior vice president of exploration on the Norwegian continental shelf. "The annual availability of acreage in mature areas on the Norwegian continental shelf has provided the industry with constancy and formed the basis for the good results we have achieved in our near-field exploration during recent years."