Norway launches 20th licensing round

Norway has invited operators to bid for 79 blocks or parts of blocks under its 20th licensing round that covers the Norwegian and Barents seas.

Uchenna Izundu
International Editor

LONDON, June 29 -- Norway has invited operators to bid for 79 blocks or parts of blocks under its 20th licensing round that covers the Norwegian and Barents seas. Deadline for applications is Nov. 7.

The petroleum and energy ministry said the licensing round was important to maintain production on the Norwegian Continental Shelf and that new discoveries could help with employment and industrial development on the northern coast.

However, environmental standards and fishery concerns have been tightened in some areas following public consultation.

"The government wants to await the assessments in the upcoming management plan for the Norwegian Sea before starting new petroleum activities outside the More coastline," the ministry said, adding, "Further petroleum activities and conditions in this area will be assessed in the management plan."

The plan will assess the environmental impact of oil and gas activities in the Norwegian and Barents seas and its future development.

Winners of the licensing round will be announced next year after the government finalizes its management plan for the Norwegian Sea. "Awards of blocks in the Norwegian Sea shall not conflict with the conclusion of the management plan," it said.

Contact Uchenna Izundu at uchennai@pennwell.com.

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