The Faroe Islands government awarded its first oil and gas licenses in mid-August, adding a spark to exploration operations on the Atlantic margin.
The blocks lie on the Faroe shelf north and west of Clair, Schiehallion/Loyal, Foinaven, and other discoveries in the west of Shetland Islands play (see map, OGJ, June 7, 1999, p. 32). West of Shetlands oil production is at 250,000-300,000 b/d from Foinaven and Schiehallion/Loyal fields.
The Faroes Ministry of Petroleum issued 7 licenses to 12 oil companies organized into 5 groups. The ministry had received 22 applications from 17 oil companies in 8 groups or individual companies. One application was withdrawn.
About 14,000 sq km was up for licensing, and the applications covered about 50% of the area offered.
After the sale, ENI SPA's subsidiary Agip Denmark BV and Foroya Kolvetni P/F, an independent oil company based in the Faroes, confirmed the award of Licenses 2 and 5, totaling 700 sq km in 1,000 m of water. Agip Denmark will operate the blocks. Anadarko Petroleum Corp., already a player elsewhere in the Atlantic margin, is operator of License 7 and participates with a Statoil group in License 6, the two largest packages awarded.