Nominations from Statoil for acreage to be included in Norway's planned second North Sea licensing round are being submitted today, 15 June.
The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy has invited each oil company to nominate up to 10 blocks or combinations of blocks they would like to see included in the round.
Acreage is due to be put on offer in the first half of August, with a deadline for applications in the autumn and awards planned around the end of the year.
"This represents an important round for us," says Morten Sola, the geosciences manager for the North Sea round II. "We have new exploration models to test, for instance, and need new assignments and discoveries."
Both completely new acreage and blocks relinquished from earlier licensing awards are to be included in the round.
It will cover an area from Farsund at Norway's southern tip to the UK-Norwegian boundary line and up to the 62nd parallel which marks the northern limit to the North Sea.
Statoil is due to cooperate with Exxon Mobil and Norsk Hydro in applying for a couple of quadrants in the northernmost part of this area, and would not exclude partnerships with other companies.
Click here for a map of the North Sea round II.