APA 2021: Great interest in the Norwegian continental shelf

Source: press releases, 15 September 2021

Awards in Predefined Areas (APA) 2021 areas offered (illustration: NPD)
Awards in Predefined Areas (APA) 2021 areas offered (illustration: NPD)

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) reports that the authorities have received applications from 31 companies in the Awards in Predefined Areas (APA) 2021.

The deadline for applications was 8 September.

“It’s gratifying to see the continued high level of interest to identify additional resources near existing fields and infrastructure,” says Kalmar Ildstad, director of licence management at the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD).

The NPD will now start the work of evaluating the applications with focus on geological understanding and plans for exploration of the areas.

“I am happy that the oil companies still see good opportunities on the Norwegian shelf. Exploration is important for maintaining activity and good resource management and lays the foundation for value creation and safe jobs throughout the country,” says Minister of Petroleum and Energy Tina Bru.

Allocation in predefined areas (APA) is the annual licensing round for the best-known exploration areas on the Norwegian shelf. It comprises the majority of the available exploration areas.

By the application deadline of 8 September, the Ministry had received applications from a total of 31 different companies. The Ministry does not publish the total number of applications because of competitive considerations.

The APA area is being expanded as geological knowledge in areas on the Norwegian shelf increases. In this year’s licensing round, the predefined area was expanded in the North Sea, the Norwegian Sea and the Barents Sea.

APA 2021 was announced on 9 June 2021. The aim is to grant new production licenses in the announced areas at the beginning of 2022.

Offers announced early in 2022
When production licences are awarded, emphasis is also placed on the companies’ technical expertise and experience, as well as financial strength.

The authorities plan to announce which companies will be offered ownership interests in APA 2021 early in 2022.