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Norway to include 36 new blocks for 2020 licensing round

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Oilfield Technology,

Norway's Ministry of Petroleum and Energy is proposing to include 36 new blocks in this year's licensing round in the well-known parts of the Norwegian Continental Shelf – Awards in Predefined Areas (APA) 2020. The proposal has now been sent to a public consultation.

"In these challenging times it is important to plan for the future. Stable access to new acreage for petroleum exploration is key in order to develop our most important industry further, and to maintain the level of activity on the Norwegian Shelf. Awards in pre-defined areas contribute to the exploration of the well-known parts of the shelf, and they are sought-after by the companies", said Minister for Petroleum and Energy, Tina Bru.

"We propose to include 36 new blocks in the pre-defined area. The new acreage is located west in the Norwegian Sea. Through the APA 2020, the government continues to facilitate profitable production of oil and gas in a long-term perspective", added Bru.

The APA is one of two equal licensing rounds on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. The scheme was introduced in 2003 to facilitate exploration in geologically well known parts of the Shelf.

The APA area includes the geologically most mature parts of the Norwegian Continental shelf. The expected size of discoveries in such well-known areas is smaller. Exploration mainly focuses on smaller discoveries that would not justify an independent development, but may be profitable if developed in conjunction with other discoveries and/or utilising existing or planned infrastructure.

Effective exploration requires predictability regarding which areas the companies can apply for in the APA-rounds, and requires a steady increase in the number of blocks included in the APA-area. Thus, the APA rounds are organised annually.

An evaluation is undertaken every year as to whether the APA area should be expanded. The area is expanded as new areas are becoming well-explored.

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