The primary focus area for the 23rd licencing round will be the newly opened area in the southeastern part of the Norwegian sector of the Barents Sea. There will be extensive exploration activity over the next few years in licenses already awarded in other parts of the Barents Sea. For reasons relating to resource management, including the interest of facilitating stepwise, efficient exploration, the number of blocks announced in the Barents Sea outside the southeastern area will most likely be limited. However, it will also be possible to nominate blocks in other parts of the Barents Sea.
“Stepwise exploration is a fundamental principle for the numbered licensing rounds. This approach has contributed to an efficient and profitable exploration of the Norwegian Continental Shelf. The large areas awarded in the most recent rounds, particularly in the Barents Sea, will give us more information about the geology in these areas in the time to come. Potential new licences in such areas must be viewed in this context,” says Minister of Petroleum and Energy Ola Borten Moe.
The companies’ nominations will be an important part of the Ministry’s decision basis as regards announcing acreage in the 23rd licencing round. Nominations in the Barents Sea southeast will take place on the basis of the seismic data acquired by the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate as part of the opening process.