Interest Wanes in Norway’s Arctic Frontier

Total number of applicants down for latest Barents Sea frontier licensing round.

waves at the Barents sea
Barents Sea North Cape in Norway.
Ludovic Debono/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Seven companies applied for new acreage in the Barents Sea in Norway’s latest licensing round, down from 26 in a similar round in 2013. The government had offered 125 new blocks in eight frontier regions of the Barents.

More than 60% of the undiscovered hydrocarbons offshore Norway are in the Barents frontier, according to the nation’s petroleum directorate. However, appetites for frontier drilling have diminished as oil prices weakened and recent results from the region have disappointed.

Companies that applied for the new acreage round were Norske Shell, Equinor, Idemitsu Petroleum Norge, Ineos E&P Norge, Lundin Norway, OMV Norge, and Var Energi.