Norway to announce 19th license round results by summer

Apr 21, 2005 02:00 AM

Norway plans to announce the result of the 19th licensing round of oil blocks by the summer of 2005, its oil and Energy minister said.
Speaking at the 6th International Oil Summit in Paris, Thorhild Widvey said: "We have received very heavy interest by both international and national oil companies."

Norway is the third-largest exporter of oil in the world, but with a many of its biggest fields moving into tail-end production and few new large discoveries, it is increasingly being seen by the industry as a mature province.
Consequently, the Norwegian Oil and Energy ministry is trying to jump-start a new cycle of large oil finds by opening up previously closed areas in the Norwegian Sea and the largely unexplored Barents Sea, off the coast of Northern Norway, in the 19th licensing round.

The minister's comments follow recent oil and mud discharges in the Norwegian Barents Sea drilling campaign. The government approved the campaign on a zero-discharge basis.
The accidental leaks, industry experts have said, could threaten to delay exploration and development of Norway's last petroleum provinces. The leaks -- from Ocean Rig's Eirik Raude rig -- may give environmentalists and politicians the lobbying leverage they need to hinder or prevent further development of environmentally sensitive areas.

Estimated to hold around 8 bn barrels of oil equivalent, the Barents is Norway's last unexplored sea and is crucial to maintaining the country's rank as one of the world's biggest oil and gas exporters.

Source: FWN Financial News
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