Norway awards 52 licenses in latest lease sale

Feb. 12, 2008
Norway has offered 52 production licenses to 19 operators that applied to develop blocks in the Norwegian North Sea, the Norwegian Sea, and the Barents Sea.

Uchenna Izundu
International Editor

LONDON, Feb. 12 -- Norway has offered 52 production licenses to 19 operators that applied to develop blocks in the Norwegian North Sea, the Norwegian Sea, and the Barents Sea.

Competition for the licensing round, dubbed Awards in Predefined Areas 2007 (APA 2007), was intense as it received 113 applications, the Norwegian energy ministry said. "There is a large potential in proving new, smaller resources close to existing infrastructure in the mature areas of the North Sea, the Norwegian Sea, and the Barents Sea," it said.

The energy ministry is keen to see rapid development of potential resources and maximize exploration in mature areas on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. "This is important to utilize the capacity of existing and planned production and transportation installations," it said.

Among the companies with successful bids were BG Norge AS, Centrica Resources Norge AS, Dana Petroleum Norway AS, E.On Ruhrgas Norge AS, Endeavour Energy Norge AS, Eni Norge AS, Esso Norge AS, Genesis Petroleum, and Faroe Petroleum Norge AS.

Faroe Petroleum said it will develop five licenses with different partners. For license PL475 in the Norwegian Sea, it will reprocess 3D seismic data and drill one well within 3 years. The license contains the Santana and Carlos prospects, as well as seven further prospects and three further leads. "Some of the prospects potentially form an extension of the existing hydrocarbon columns within the Trestakk field," Faroe said.

The PL477 license, also in the Norwegian Sea, contains the Middle Jurassic Cooper prospect, a Lower Cretaceous gas discovery, and an additional lead, Faroe said. "The work commitment requires the acquisition of a 3D seismic survey over the prospective area and a drill-or-drop decision within 3 years," the company said.

Faroe, along with its partners, will shoot a 3D seismic survey and take a drill-or-drop decision within 3 years for the PL478 license in the Norwegian Sea, which contains the Manilow prospect—a potentially large downthrown Middle Jurassic structure—and the Upper Jurassic Whitesnake prospect.

The partners will carry out the same work program for license PL405 B in the Norwegian North Sea with a drill-or-drop decision by February 2009.

Genesis Petroleum was awarded interests in three production licenses in the Norwegian Sea where it will shoot new seismic over all them before taking any drilling decisions. E.On Ruhrgas will operate two of the licenses while StatoilHydro AS will operate one.

For Blocks 26/2 and 31/11, existing 2D seismic data show prospectivity in the Middle Jurassic, Lower Jurassic, and Upper Triassic geological sequences, Genesis said. The second license covers parts of blocks 6609/8, 9, 10, and 11, with existing 2D and 3D seismic data indicating prospectivity in the Tertiary geological sequence.

The third license covers parts of blocks 6609/8 and 9 and extends to 330 sq km. According to 2D and 3D data, there is prospectivity in the Middle Jurassic geological sequence.

Lundin Petroleum secured operatorship of four licenses and will participate in another three. Its work program includes the drilling of one exploration well and acquisition/interpretation of new and old seismic data.

Contact Uchenna Izundu at [email protected].