Norway’s Ministry of Petroleum and Energy has invited oil and gas operators to nominate blocks to be included in the Norwegian Continental Shelf 23rd license round, whose main focus will be the southeastern Barents Sea.
The ministry is also accepting nominations in the Norwegian Sea and North Sea. Nominations are due by Jan. 14, 2014.
The companies’ nominations will be an important part of the ministry’s decision basis as regards announcing acreage in the 23rd round. Nominations in the southeastern Barents Sea will take place on the basis of the seismic data acquired by the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate as part of the opening process.
The need for thorough, efficient data acquisition in this area means that the further schedule for the 23rd round may be somewhat delayed compared with an ordinary 2-year schedule, the NPD said. The ministry’s proposed announced acreage will be subject to public consultation.
Minister of Petroleum and Energy Ola Borten Moe expects extensive exploratory activity the next few years on licenses already awarded in other parts of the Barents Sea. For reasons relating to resource management, including the interest of facilitating stepwise, efficient exploration, the number of blocks announced in the Barents Sea outside the southeastern area will most likely be limited. However, it will also be possible to nominate blocks in other parts of the Barents Sea.
As regards the Norwegian Sea, it is important for future exploratory activities to lay the foundation for efficient use of the existing transport system, in which considerable spare capacity will become available after 2020.