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Hydro takes a proactive approach to the 18th round

March 15, 2004, 07:50 CET

Hydro has applied to the authorities for licences in both the North Sea and the Norwegian Sea in connection with the 18th licensing round for the Norwegian continental shelf.

Hydro wishes to take on new tasks on the Norwegian shelf, and has therefore applied for both operatorship and drilling commitments in both the Norwegian Sea and the North Sea.

"We are in a good position to take on new assignments on the Norwegian shelf. We want to build on our experience from wide-ranging activities in the North Sea and Norwegian Sea with focus on safe and cost-efficient value creation with respect for both society and the environment," says Tore Torvund, senior vice president in Hydro Oil & Energy.

New opportunities in the North Sea
After many years of high exploration and production activities in the North Sea, a great deal of the oil and gas resources have already been discovered and put into production. However, Hydro sees new opportunities in this area and has therefore applied for several blocks in the North Sea.

"We have applied for two blocks in this area, which can contain significant volumes of oil and gas. We hope that we will have the opportunity to explore in these blocks and to develop them if the volumes prove to be commercial," says Torvund.

Cautious expectations in the Norwegian Sea
Despite disappointing exploration results in the Norwegian Sea in recent years, Hydro wants to continue to explore in this area. This is despite the fact that the risk for drilling dry wells in the Norwegian Sea has generally increased.

"There are major geological structures in deep water in the Norwegian Sea that have not yet been drilled, but we must be aware that the likelihood of proving oil and gas in these structures is considered to be very low. We also believe that there are smaller resources in and by existing infrastructures in the Norwegian Sea that could be interesting to explore if the frame conditions were improved," says Torvund.

The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy have made a total of 95 blocks available in the 18th round. This is nearly the equivalent of three times as many blocks as in the 17th licensing round.