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Equinor wins big in 24th licensing round for offshore Norway blocks

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Equinor wins big in 24th licensing round for offshore Norway blocks

Norway's Ministry of Petroleum and Energy has offered a total of 12 new production licenses to 11 companies in the 24th licensing round. Three licenses are in the Norwegian Sea and nine licenses were offered in the Barents Sea.

International energy company Equinor, formerly Statoil ASA, was offered seven licenses including five operatorships and two partner positions, Equinor said in a June 18 press release.

The award includes a commitment well in the southwestern part of the Barents Sea and in deep waters in a frontier part of the Vøring Basin in the Norwegian Sea.

Equinor was awarded licenses for 100% ownership and operatorship for production at PL957 (blocks 6201/6 og 6202/4); 50% ownership and operatorship for production at PL959 (blocks 6503/8, 11, 12 og 6504/10, 11); 40% ownership and operatorship for production PL960 (blocks 7018/4, 5); 50% ownership and operatorship for production at PL961 (blocks 7116/6 og 7117/4, 5); and 70% ownership and operatorship for production at PL966 (blocks 7325/2, 3, 6, 8, 9 og 7326/4, 7, 8, 9 og 7327/7, 8 og 7426/10, 11).

Equinor was also awarded licenses for 30% ownership and partnership for production with operator, Norwegian oil exploration and development company Aker BP ASA at PL963 (blocks 7422/10, 11) and 35% share and partnership for production with operator Austrian integrated oil and gas company OMV AG at PL537B (block 7324/4).

In contrast to the awards of the 23rd licensing round, the majority of these awards are less mature and therefore require more work before the drilling candidates are ready, Equinor said. "Consequently, Equinor will gather and interpret data before the licenses are presented to the partners who will decide on any drilling of exploration wells," the company said.

In addition to the two operator licenses awarded to Aker BP, Norway's Ministry of Petroleum and Energy offered the company interests in four additional new production licenses in Norway, Aker BP said in a June 18 press release. All the new licenses are located in the Barents Sea.

Lundin Petroleum AB's wholly owned subsidiary Lundin Norway AS was awarded three exploration licenses in the 24th licensing round in Norway, the company said in a June 18 release. The awarded licenses are all located in the southern Barents Sea and close to licenses already held by Lundin Norway.