Nominating 16th-round acreage

June 17, 1999, 10:00 CEST

Acreage which Statoil would like to see included in Norway's 16th offshore licensing round has been nominated by the group.

Its submission to the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, filed before the deadline of 15 June, is confined to areas of the Norwegian Sea.

"This is a very important set of awards for us," says Marit Berling, Statoil's project manager for the 16th round.

"We need to improve the quality of our exploration portfolio, and are keen to secure fresh exploration and development assignments," she explains. "So we have high hopes for this round."

The government has set no restrictions on the amount of acreage which oil companies can nominate for possible award.

Proposals have been received by the ministry from 15 companies in addition to Statoil: Agip, BP Amoco, Chevron, Conoco, Elf, Enterprise, Esso, Fortum, Norsk Hydro, Mobil, Phillips Petroleum, RWE-DEA, Saga Petroleum, Shell and Total.

A total of 83 Norwegian Sea blocks have been nominated by two or more of these. The ministry says that both resources and exploration needs will be taken into account when offering acreage.

Great emphasis is also being placed on fishery and environmental considerations.

Plans call for blocks to be put on offer in the second half of this year, with licences due to be allocated in the first half of 2000.