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Norway awards 56 oil and gas licences to boost activity

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Staff writer ▼ | January 20, 2016
Norway's oil ministry awarded 56 oil and gas exploration licences in mature areas in a move to boost activity for the industry hit by low crude prices.
Norway oil field
Oil exploration   A total of 36 companies were awarded stakes
A total of 36 companies were awarded stakes to explore in the mature areas, or areas already opened for exploration.

Petroleum and Energy Minister Tord Lien said the round, of Awards in Pre-defined Areas (APA), was "among the largest ever awarded on the Norwegian Continental Shelf."

"It will contribute to activity both in the oil companies and in the supply industry as exploration progresses, wells are drilled and discoveries are made," he said in a statement.

Separately, he told an industry conference that the 56 licences comprised 27 in the North Sea, 24 in the Norwegian Sea and five in the Barents Sea.

Sissel Eriksen, Director of exploration in the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, said the number of applications had remained fairly constant in recent years and that there had been considerable interest in the Norwegian Sea.

"Many of these areas have existing fields that are nearing the end of production, with infrastructure that can be exploited. It is therefore important that we explore the surrounding areas so that potential resources are not lost", she said in a statement.

The biggest winner was Statoil with 24 licences, including 13 operatorships while Det norske oljeselskap came in second with 10 licences and 6 operatorships. Others to win operatorships include Lundin, Eni, ConocoPhillips, Total, BP and Wintershall.