Norway seeks bids for Norwegian Sea exploration blocks

The Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy has asked oil companies to propose by Sept. 28 any Norwegian Sea blocks they want included in the 17th offshore licensing round. Winning bids would be awarded in the fourth quarter and production licenses early next year.

By the OGJ Online Staff

HOUSTON, Aug. 29 -- The Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy Wednesday asked oil companies to propose by Sept. 28 any Norwegian Sea blocks they want included in the 17th offshore licensing round.

The ministry said winning bids would be awarded in the fourth quarter and production licenses in the second quarter of 2002.

Kent Høgseth, Statoil AS's project manager for the 17th round, said, "We are optimistic that there are sizeable gas reserves, particularly in the deepwater areas."

Statoil has cooperation agreements with Royal Dutch/Shell Group, Enterprise Oil PLC, and other companies operating in the Norwegian Sea.

It said if it gets licenses in the spring, seismic data collection could start next summer. Drilling could begin near the end of 2002.

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