Norway announces APA 2019 licensing round

Source: press release, 29 May 2019

2019 Awards in Predefined Areas offered blocks
2019 Awards in Predefined Areas offered blocks (illustration: NPD)

The Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy has announced this year’s licensing round in mature areas on the Norwegian continental shelf – Awards in Predefined Areas (APA) 2019.

“I am delighted to announce this year’s APA round. We are continuing our practice of offering regular concessions on the NCS to provide the industry access to new acreage. Awarding prospective acreage is a central element in the Government’s policy. I believe the oil companies are well motivated to continuing exploring the NCS,” says Minister Kjell-Børge Freiberg.

In the APA 2019, the predefined area has been expanded by a total of 90 blocks – 5 in the North Sea, 37 in the Norwegian Sea and 48 in the Barents Sea.

“The expansion of the APA-area is important to ensure effective exploration of larger parts of the NCS, including the Barents Sea. The expansion will give the companies access to new opportunities that can enable value creation, employment and technology development,” Freiberg continues.

The application deadline for companies is 12 noon on August 27, 2019. The aim is to award new production licenses in the announced areas in the beginning of 2020.

Since APA 2018, the predefined acreage has been expanded by 5 blocks in the North Sea, 37 blocks in the Norwegian Sea and 48 blocks in the Barents Sea. Applications can be submitted for all available blocks or parts of blocks within the predefined areas.

Blocks or parts of blocks that become available less than 3 months prior to the application deadline, cannot be applied for. That means that all acreage approved for relinquishment in the period up to three months prior to the application deadline is considered to be announced as of the application deadline.

Relinquished area is included on a continuous basis in the predefined area on the NPD’s interactive Factmap, and maps covering the final area that can be applied for will be provided as soon as practically possible.

The invitation to apply for petroleum production licenses, an updated map of the announced blocks, health, safety and environment (HSE), environmental and fisheries requirements and further information are available on the website of the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD).