Norway announced it would expand this year’s predefined area on the Norwegian Continental Shelf by 103 blocks during its latest oil licensing round.
Bidding closes on the 4th September 2018, with the government hoping to award licenses early in 2019, according to a Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum statement.
Terje Søviknes, Norway’s Minister of Petroleum and Energy, said: “Awarding acreage in mature areas in annual APA-rounds is an important part of the Norwegian Government’s commitment to a stable and long-term petroleum policy.”
Søviknes added: “Access to prospective exploration acreage is crucial in order to make new petroleum discoveries. New discoveries on the Norwegian continental shelf ensure value creation, employment and Government revenues.”
The Johan Sverdrup oil field in the North Sea will help Norway sustain its oil production until 2023 and is set to begin production in 2019, although it has been noted that without major new discoveries the industry could be set for a lasting decline.
The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) said: “If petroleum production is to be maintained at the current level beyond 2025, it is absolutely essential that additional profitable resources are proven, also larger discoveries.”
The expansion of Norway’s mature areas could provide some relief for authorities if it is to gain as must attraction as previous licensing rounds.