Iceland launched a second license round for blocks on its continental shelf in the Atlantic.
The blocks, being offered from Oct. 3 until Apr. 2, 2012, are in the Dreki area in 800-2,000 m of water in a 42,700 sq km area northeast of Iceland. The area is bounded by 67° and 68° 30’ N. Lat. and 11° 30’ to 6° 20’ W. Long.
The National Energy Authority of Iceland noted that the Dreki Area is part of the Jan Mayen Ridge microcontinent that separated from the Greenland and Norwegian continental shelves during plate tectonic movements 45-60 million years ago.
Seismic surveys and other geophysical measurements indicate that oil and gas could be found in the Dreki Area as they have been in adjacent and geologically similar areas. Further research, including exploratory drilling, is necessary to verify whether oil or gas exists in the Dreki area.
Thorarinn Sveinn Arnarson, hydrocarbon exploration manager, said the authority will impose stringent requirements on security, work safety, and environmental protection and demand use of the best available technology.
“A strategic environmental assessment has been completed for the Dreki Area and considerable research has been done on the marine biosphere, climate, and sea conditions in the area. There is no danger of sea ice under present climatic conditions and the wave heights are lower than off the west-coast of Norway. This research is important in evaluating the impact of oil exploration. No major obstacles were found to oil exploration.”