Norway’s APA 2021 Licensing Round Attracts Key Applicants

Applications will now be reviewed, and licenses will be awarded sometime in 2022.

Norway's most recent licensing round attracts bids from 31 companies.

The Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy has received applications from 31 companies in connection with the announcement of APA 2021 licensing round covering mature regions of Norway’s continental shelf. The APA area (awards in predefined areas) has been expanded as geological knowledge in areas on the Norwegian shelf increases. In this year’s round, the predefined area was expanded in the North Sea (4 blocks), the Norwegian Sea (10 blocks), and the Barents Sea (70 blocks). See map here.

“I am happy that the oil companies still see good opportunities on the Norwegian shelf,” said Tina Bru, Norway’s Minister of Petroleum and Energy. “Exploration is important for maintaining activity and good resource management, and lays the foundation for value creation and safe jobs throughout the country.”

In comparison, APA 2020 offered a total of 36 blocks in the Norwegian Sea and attracted applications from a total of 33 companies.

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate will now start evaluating the applications from this latest round with focus on geological understanding and plans for exploration of the areas.

APA 2021 was announced on 9 June 2021 with the aim to grant new production licenses in the announced areas at the beginning of 2022.

“Announcement and allocation of exploration area is important to maintain the level of activity on the Norwegian shelf,” added Bru. “It contributes to good resource management, creates great value for the community, and secures jobs across the country. The announcement of this APA round is in line with the government’s long-term policy for the petroleum industry. It is also within the framework for the industry, which is agreed upon by a broad majority in the Parliament.”

Allocation in predefined areas (APA) was introduced in 2003 to facilitate timely exploration of the most geologically known parts of the Norwegian shelf.

The 31 companies that submitted applications in APA 2021 include

  • Aker BP
  • Norske Shell
  • Chrysaor Norge
  • Concedo ASA
  • ConocoPhillips Skandinavia
  • DNO Norge
  • Equinor Energy
  • Idemitsu Petroleum Norge
  • INEOS E&P Norge
  • KUFPEC Norway
  • Lime Petroleum
  • Longboat Energy Norge
  • Lotos Exploration & Production Norge
  • Lundin Energy Norway
  • M Vest Energy
  • Neptune Energy Norge
  • OMV (Norway)
  • ONE Dyas Norge
  • Pandion Energy
  • Petrolia NOCO
  • PGNiG Upstream Norway
  • RN Nordic Oil
  • Source Energy
  • Spirit Energy Norge
  • Suncor Energy Norge
  • Sval Energi
  • TotalEnergies EP Norge
  • Vår Energi
  • Wellesley Petroleum
  • Wintershall Dea Norge