Norway awards 15 offshore licenses to 11 companies

The Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy Thursday made offers to 11 companies that had sought E&P licenses in December as part of the country's latest North Sea round. Norway's state-owned Statoil AS and the Norwegian units of Conoco Inc., Enterprise Oil PLC, Phillips Petroleum Co., and Germany's RWE-DEA AG won the "new areas" operatorships on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.


Darius V. Snieckus
OGJ Online


LONDON, Mar. 23�The Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy Thursday made offers to 11 companies that had sought exploration and production licenses in December as part of the country's latest North Sea round.

Norway's state-owned Statoil AS and the Norwegian units of Conoco Inc., Enterprise Oil PLC, Phillips Petroleum Co., and Germany's RWE-DEA AG won the "new areas" operatorships on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.

Offers of participation were made to the Norwegian units of Agip SPA, Chevron Corp., Enterprise, and ExxonMobil Corp., along with Finland's Fortum Oil AS, RWE-DEA, and Norwegian contractor Aker Maritime AS. The state's direct financial interest (SDFI) opted for a 30% stake in one license.

The ministry awarded licenses on 15 whole or partial blocks.

Olav Akselsen, the country's minister of petroleum and energy, said the award of the licenses would help to increase exploration activity in the Norwegian North Sea and result in new field developments.

"This will even out the activity level and contribute to securing the level of employment in the industry," said Akselsen.

The license award to Norwegian contractor Aker bears out the pledge made last year by the ministry to open a door onto the NCS for unconventional or niche companies.

Company chief executive Sverre Skogen said he believed Aker�s knowledge of the NCS, gained as a supplier to the region, would "increase the diversity on the Norwegian shelf and contribute to an efficient overall exploitation of resources in smaller oil and gas fields."

Blocks 16/2 and 16/3 went to Statoil (operator) 30%, ExxonMobil 25%, Enterprise 15%, and the state's direct financial interest, 30%.

Blocks 26/1, 2, 4, 5, 7, and 8 plus blocks 31/10 and 11 went to Enterprise (operator) with 40%, Norsk Hydro 30%, and RWE-DEA 30%.

Blocks 34/5, 6, and 9 (partial) went to Conoco (operator) with 40%, Chevron 30%, and Fortum 30%.

Block 35/1 went to Phillips (operator) with 40%, Enterprise 30%, and Agip 30%.

Block 35/3 went to RWE-DEA (operator) with 51% and Aker Maritime 49%.

Contact Darius Snieckus at dsnieckus@ogjonline.com

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