Extensive application for new exploration licences in mature areas

September 29, 2006, 14:20 CEST

On Friday, Hydro submitted an extensive application regarding new exploration areas on the Norwegian continental shelf. The application is part of the authorities' annual awards in predefined areas (APA).

The annual system of awards in predefined areas (APA) was introduced in 2003.

"The awards of new acreage give us the opportunity to examine the mature areas on the Norwegian continental shelf more closely. New exploration activities in these areas can provide opportunities for exploiting the existing infrastructure, and can give increased oil extraction," says Senior Vice President Lars Christian Alsvik, head of the Development Norway sector in Hydro's Oil & Energy business area.

"Even after many years of activity, there are still a lot of resources in mature areas of the continental shelf. Annual awards in mature areas facilitate the continuous and efficient exploration of these areas," he says.

The deadline for applications in this year's APA licencing round was Friday 29 September.

Hydro has an extensive exploration programme on the Norwegian continental shelf, and will drill exploration wells in the Barents Sea, the Norwegian Sea, and the North Sea over the next few years.

Awards in December

"With the announcement of APA 2006, the industry will gain access to extensive areas for exploration. There are a significant number of blocks with prospective possibilities for the industry in this year's APA round. It is important that the industry remains highly focused on good exploitation of existing infrastructure through developing additional resources in mature areas of the Norwegian continental shelf," Norway's Minister of Petroleum and Energy Odd Roger Enoksen declared when the authorities made their announcement of APA 2006 in February.

The announcement of APA 2006 is the third largest announcement since the first licencing round in 1965, and at the time of the announcement it included a total of 192 blocks or parts of blocks in the North Sea, the Norwegian Sea, and the Barents Sea.

The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy plans to award the exploration blocks in December.