Norway plans to expand Arctic oil and gas drilling in new licensing round



By Terje Solsvik

OSLO, March 17 (Reuters) - Norway will offer new licenses to drill for oil and gas in its oceans, including previously unexplored acreage in the Arctic, the government said on Thursday, welcome news to Western nations keen to reduce their dependence on Russia.

"Access to new, attractive exploration acreage is a pillar in the government's policy for further development of the petroleum industry," Minister of Energy and Petroleum Terje Aasland said in a statement.

"New discoveries are crucial for ensuring jobs, value creation and production," he said.

Environmental campaigners strongly oppose to Norway's oil and gas drilling, especially in the Arctic's fragile ecosystem, arguing it contributes to global warming, but a broad majority in parliament said exploration will continue.

The energy ministry said it had added stakes in 31 exploration blocks in the Arctic Barents Sea that oil firms can apply for in the latest round, on top of other acreage in the Barents Sea as well as the North Sea and the Norwegian Sea.

The blocks are adjacent to mature areas that have been drilled in the past and have relatively well-known geology or existing infrastructure, allowing companies to develop new discoveries quickly.

Norway is Europe's second largest petroleum producer after Russia, pumping around 4 million barrels of oil equivalent per day, and is forecast to increase its output by some 9% by 2024.

The pre-defined areas have been expanded gradually over the years and now cover much of the acreage opened for petroleum business off Norway, including large swathes of the Norwegian section of the Barents Sea.

In last year's round Norway awarded stakes in 53 licenses to 28 companies, with Equinor EQNR.OL , Aker BP AKRBP.OL , Lundin Energy LUNE.ST and Eni's ENI.MI Norwegian subsidiary Vaar VAR.OL winning the most.

The energy ministry said it plans to announce awards for this year's round in January 2023.
Reporting by Terje Solsvik; Editing by Gwladys Fouche and Lisa Shumaker

Disclaimer: The XM Group entities provide execution-only service and access to our Online Trading Facility, permitting a person to view and/or use the content available on or via the website, is not intended to change or expand on this, nor does it change or expand on this. Such access and use are always subject to: (i) Terms and Conditions; (ii) Risk Warnings; and (iii) Full Disclaimer. Such content is therefore provided as no more than general information. Particularly, please be aware that the contents of our Online Trading Facility are neither a solicitation, nor an offer to enter any transactions on the financial markets. Trading on any financial market involves a significant level of risk to your capital.

All material published on our Online Trading Facility is intended for educational/informational purposes only, and does not contain – nor should it be considered as containing – financial, investment tax or trading advice and recommendations; or a record of our trading prices; or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instruments; or unsolicited financial promotions to you.

Any third-party content, as well as content prepared by XM, such as: opinions, news, research, analyses, prices and other information or links to third-party sites contained on this website are provided on an “as-is” basis, as general market commentary, and do not constitute investment advice. To the extent that any content is construed as investment research, you must note and accept that the content was not intended to and has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such, it would be considered as marketing communication under the relevant laws and regulations. Please ensure that you have read and understood our Notification on Non-Independent Investment. Research and Risk Warning concerning the foregoing information, which can be accessed here.

We are using cookies to give you the best experience on our website. Read more or change your cookie settings.

Risk Warning: Your capital is at risk. Leveraged products may not be suitable for everyone. Please consider our Risk Disclosure.