NCS: Seven applicants in the 25th licensing round

Source: press releases, 25 February 2021

The 25th licensing round comprises nine areas: one area in the Norwegian Sea and eight in the Barents Sea
The 25th licensing round comprises nine areas: one area in the Norwegian Sea and eight in the Barents Sea (illustration: Norskpetroleum.no)

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) reports that seven companies have applied for production licenses in the 25th licensing round on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS). The deadline for applications was 23 February.

The 25th licensing round comprises nine areas outside the APA area on the Norwegian shelf. The round was announced on 19 November 2020 and includes one area in the Norwegian Sea and eight in the Barents Sea. A total of 136 blocks or parts of blocks were announced in this licensing round. Of these, eleven are in the Norwegian Sea and 125 in the Barents Sea.

“In this round, the announced blocks are mostly in frontier areas. We see that large and medium-sized companies with good technical and financial capacity to conduct exploration in such areas have applied,” says Torgeir Stordal, director of technology and coexistence in the NPD.

“The numbered rounds are focused on key areas in our least explored, open areas. They are an important supplement to the annual APA rounds [awards in predefined areas]. Exploration activity in immature areas gives the state as a resource owner more knowledge about the resource potential. It enables us to identify resources and create value for the community. We will now start processing the applications from the seven companies,” says Minister of Petroleum and Energy Tina Bru.

Seven companies have applied for production licences, either alone or in groups:

  • A/S Norske Shell
  • Equinor Energy AS
  • Idemitsu Petroleum Norge AS
  • Ineos E&P Norge AS
  • Lundin Norway AS
  • OMV (Norge) AS
  • Vår Energi AS

The NPD will now begin evaluating the applications. Companies that are awarded licences must have technical expertise and a solid understanding of the geology. Emphasis will also be placed on financial strength and experience.

The announced blocks have been mapped by the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate to ensure a good evaluation process. The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy aims to award new production licences in the 25th licensing round before the summer of 2018.