Norway announces the 25th licensing round

Source: press release, 19 November 2020

illustration: NPD
illustration: NPD

The Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy has announced the 25th licensing round on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.

The licensing round includes a total of 136 blocks in nine areas, eight in the Barents Sea and one in the Norwegian Sea.

“Around 200,000 people are employed directly or indirectly in the petroleum sector in Norway. New discoveries are necessary to ensure continued activity, ripple effects, employment and governmental revenues throughout the country. Implementation of the 25th licensing round is line with the Granavolden-platform and Norwegian Parliament policy,” says Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Tina Bru.

The overall objective of the Government’s petroleum policy is to provide a predictable framework for the profitable production of oil and gas in the long term. It is important to explore all opened areas on the NCS, including the frontier areas made available in numbered licensing rounds.

The Norwegian licensing system consists of two equally important types of licensing rounds: numbered licensing rounds for the least explored parts of the shelf (frontier areas), and awards in predefined areas (APA) for mature parts.

“The numbered licensing rounds are a supplement to the APA rounds and is important to the Norwegian Government’s resource management. Regular rounds secure prospective acreage to the industry and can result in discoveries that maintain future employment and revenues,” says Minister Tina Bru.

The aim is to award new production licenses in the announced areas in the second quarter of 2021. The application deadline for companies is 23 February 2021 at 12 pm.

Petroleum activities in Norway are subject to stringent health, safety and environment requirements, as well as requirements to safeguard the external environment. This also applies to the 25th licensing round. This framework is put in place in order to safeguard the environmental values on the shelf.

illustration: NPD
illustration: NPD

The deadline to apply for the 25th licensing round is Tuesday, 23 February 2021 at 12:00.

Applicants are encouraged to submit applications well before the deadline. Awards are expected during the first quarter of 2021.

“The recently published Resource Report 2020 showed that substantial undiscovered resources remain in all areas on the NCS. In the 25th round, the companies will have access to acreage that has not been available in the annual APA rounds so far,” says Torgeir Stordal, Director Exploration at the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD).

“The announced acreage features a broad range of exciting plays that, so far, have not been extensively explored. This licensing round contributes to predictable access to acreage for the industry, and towards maintaining the activity level. We look forward to seeing the results in the years to come,” Stordal adds.