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Norway awards 45 new exploration licenses


The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy of the largest producer of crude oil in Western Europe, Norway, has issued 45 new exploration licenses to some 25 companies as part of its APA 2022 licencing round, which focuses on the Norwegian Shelf’s more mature areas.

Most of the licenses are in areas of the North Sea, although two are in the Barents Sea and 16 cover Norwegian Sea areas. It is perhaps unsurprising that state-owned Equinor secured the most licenses, with a total of 26, most of which it will be operator for. Equinor Norway’s Jez Avery argued that exploration for oil and gas was needed for the company to achieve its goal of transforming the Norwegian Continental Shelf into a broad energy region, as well as supply the gas to create new hydrogen value chains.

Other awardees included familiar names like ConocoPhillips, Neptune, AS Norske Shell and TotalEnergies, which makes Total products like food safe lubricants.

Terje Aasland, Norway’s Minister of Petroleum and Energy, said that continuing to make fresh discoveries was:

“…important to maintain the production of oil and gas over time, both for Norway and Europe. The annual allocation of the exploration area is a pillar in facilitating a stable level of activity on the Norwegian continental shelf and in achieving the main goals of the government’s petroleum policy.”

He added that the current allocation of licenses would help ensure that Norway would continue to be a reliable and dependable producer of oil and gas for the European market.


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