Equinor, Inpex Awarded Licenses in Norway APA Round

Equinor will participate in 25 exploration wells on the NCS this year.

Norne field, Norwegian Sea.
Norne field, Norwegian Sea.

Equinor has been awarded 26 new production licenses by the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy (MPE) in the 2022 Award in Predefined Areas (APA)—18 licenses as operator, and eight as partner.

The operator said that as production from existing oil and gas fields declines, continued exploration and replenishment is essential to maintaining long-term, important energy deliveries from Norway. Equinor’s analysis shows that active exploration activity is the most important single measure to ensure continued value creation toward 2030 and beyond.

“Around 80% of the exploration wells will be drilled in known, mature areas,” said Jez Avery, Equinor’s senior vice president for subsurface in Exploration & Production Norway. “Discoveries near existing infrastructure require less volume to be commercially developed and can be quickly put on stream and with low CO2 emissions. We thus maximize the value creation from existing infrastructure that has been developed over a long period on the NCS.”

The production licenses awarded include 16 in the North Sea, 9 in the Norwegian Sea, and 1 in the Barents Sea. In 2023, the company plans to participate in 25 exploration wells, most of them around existing infrastructure.

Meanwhile, INPEX was awarded three hydrocarbon exploration licenses as part of the APA 2022 round. The awarded licenses are PL1194 located in the northern Norwegian Sea and PL1179 and PL293CS (an extension of PL 293B) located in the northern North Sea. The company will hold a 30% stake in PL1194, a 15% interest in PL1179, and a 10% stake in PL293CS.

Other companies awarded licenses in the round included DNO ASA, Wintershall Dea AG, OKEA ASA, and Neptune Energy.