The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) reports that the new regulation relating to status reports entered into force on 1 January 2021, and the revised guidelines for the status reports are now ready. The revised guideline is available here.
The Norwegian shelf is becoming increasingly mature, and new production licences will more frequently comprise acreage that has been covered by a licence one or more times previously. In certain instances, companies will be awarded acreage that has already been thoroughly evaluated by previous licensees.
There has been more focus in recent years on whether a greater extent of sharing different types of data from the Norwegian shelf will yield more effective resource management.
Publication of status reports will improve access for companies that are considering applying for acreage that has been awarded previously. This will ensure a minimum of lessons learned from the previous licensee to the next, as well as provide insight in newer data and studies that a new licensee might consider acquiring.
The release of status reports is expected to result in efficiency gains, as new licensees can utilise previous work to avoid duplicating efforts that will not lead to new knowledge. This can yield more cost-effective exploration, both through an increased diversity of ideas and competition – as well as through reduced exploration risk. Releasing the status reports is thus presumed to come with socio-economic benefits.
The status reports are subject to confidentiality pursuant to Section 85 (4) of the Petroleum Regulations. The confidentiality for interpreted data in status reports will lapse once the production licence is surrendered, lapses, expires or when the acreage from which the data is derived is relinquished. The status reports will be made available on the NPD’s Fact Pages.
The regulatory amendment entered into force on 1 January 2021. A transitional resolution for the regulatory amendment allows licensees to, within 6 months (i.e., 1 July 2021), request that the parts of the report that contain interpreted data submitted before the regulatory amendment entered into force, be exempted from publication. This will have to be substantiated with concrete information surrounding competitive factors related to their confidentiality.