Norway awards 34 exploration licenses


Norway's Ministry of Petroleum and Energy has awarded 34 exploration licenses for parts of or entire blocks on the Norwegian continental shelf. Thirteen companies, alone or in combination with others, won the blocks in Norway's 16th licensing round.


Norway's Ministry of Petroleum and Energy has awarded 34 exploration licenses for parts of or entire blocks on the Norwegian continental shelf. Thirteen companies, alone or in combination with others, won the blocks in Norway's 16th licensing round.

The licensing round was announced in September 1999 to improve resource management and secure additional business opportunities, said Olav Akselsen, Norway's minister of petroleum and energy. The round will even out the activity level and "contribute to securing the level of employment in the industry," Akselsen said.

All companies that applied have received license offers.

Those receiving offers of operatorship of entire or partial blocks are Norsk Hydro AS (3), BP Amoco PLC (3), Statoil AS (2), Agip SPA (1), Chevron Corp. (1), TotalFinaElf SA (1), ExxonMobil Corp. (1), and Royal Dutch/Shell (1). Receiving offers of participation were Conoco Inc., Enterprise Oil PLC, Fortum Oy, Phillips Petroleum Co., and RWE-DEA AG.

In September 1999, Norsk Hydro recommended that state's direct financial interest assets not be included in the 16th round, but SDFI assets were included. A Hydro official said the company was disappointed not to receive its first choices in the round but is pleased to get three new operatorships.

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