Norway to open up new frontier oil exploration licences in Barents Sea

The Norwegian government intends to offer more than 90 new frontier oil and gas exploration blocks in the Barents Sea later this year.

A total of 102 tracts – also including nine in the Norwegian Sea – would be up for grabs under the proposal for the 24th round that was issued by the Petroleum & Energy Ministry.

The acreage  is set to be offered to oil companies in Spring 2017, with a deadline for bids by 30 December 2017.

It follows a block nomination process carried out last year in which 22 companies proposed tracts they wished to see included in the round.

The ministry is seeking responses under the consultation exercise by 2 May.

Petroleum & Energy Minister Terje Soviknes has vowed to continue with the Norwegian government’s aggressive policy of opening fresh exploration acreage in order to make new discoveries to reverse a production decline from mature fields.

The Barents Sea – seen as the most prospective region – is estimated to hold more than half of the country’s undiscovered hydrocarbon resources.

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