Norway offers a record number of 75 new offshore exploration leases

17/01/2018 13:42 Oil Market


Norway delivered a record seventy-five new offshore oil exploration leases to energy firms in the recent bidding round.

Terje Soeviknes, Energy Minister declared: “The number of licenses is the highest ever awarded in a licensing round on the Norwegian continental shelf. Access to new, prospective exploration acreage is a central pillar in the government’s petroleum policy.”

From the total amount of exploration fields, forty-five were in the North Sea, 22 in the Norwegian Sea, and eight in the Barents Sea. Thirty-four firms were awarded leases, while 19 of them obtained the rights to manage their specific projects. Statoil, which is headquartered in Norway, received 31 leases, while BP’s unit obtained 23.

Norway will be capable to continuously maintain its oil and gas production over the next five years, due to cost reductions and huge oil discoveries made before the oil price crash. At the same time authorities fear that reduced exploration drilling and absence of big findings in the last two years could produce troubles for Western Europe’s biggest oil and gas giant after 2023.

Norway’s total oil and gas production surged for a fourth year in a row in 2017, due to higher gas output. Oil production, on the other hand, tumbled by 1.59 million bpd from 1.61 million bpd in 2016, down 2 percent, mainly because of an unexpected maintenance closure at the Goliat oil field.

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