Norway’s oil and gas industry is booming with new bids

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The oil and gas sector in Norway is preparing to receive a new boom, after the government announced its readiness to offer 92 offshore blocks for exploration and exploration to interested local and international companies.

The Norwegian Ministry of Oil and Energy said it will offer 92 offshore blocks for exploration in the Norwegian and Arctic Barents Seas soon, according to Reuters.

These new proposals for oil and gas exploration in Norway come within the framework of the new licensing round granted by the government to local and international companies, according to what was monitored by the specialized energy platform.

Submission dates during the third quarter

Norwegian Minister of Oil and Energy, Terje Asland. Photo courtesy of Bygge industrien

Norwegian Minister of Oil and Energy Terje Asland said that facilitating new discoveries in the north is of great importance to his country, Europe and the region.

The deadline for submitting applications for these squares is set during the third quarter of 2023, with the winners to be announced in January 2024, according to the minister.

On January 10, the Minister of Oil and Energy announced the granting of 47 licenses in mature areas to 25 oil and gas exploration companies in Norway, as part of an expansion plan in the sector.

These permits are distributed over 3 maritime zones exclusive to Norway, 29 of which are in the North Sea, 16 are in the Norwegian Sea, and 2 are in the Barents Sea.

The ministry expects oil and gas production in Norway to grow by approximately 7% during the year (2023), with a stable outlook for gas volumes without change from its record production levels of 122 billion cubic meters during the same year.

Eni obtains 12 licenses

Far Energy, a subsidiary of the Italian company Eni, obtained 12 licenses in partnership with others to explore for oil and gas in Norway, while other consortia obtained the remaining licenses.

Far Energy licenses are distributed over the North Sea (4 licenses), the Norwegian Sea (6 licenses), and the Arctic Barents Sea (2 licenses), according to the specialized energy platform.

These licenses come as part of the bidding for pre-designated areas for 2022, when Far Energy announced the discovery of huge gas reserves in the Goliath region in the Arctic Barents Sea.

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Equinor acquires 26 licenses

The Italian company described this discovery as the largest global discovery of 2022, amid estimates that it contains reserves ranging from 57 to 132 million barrels of recoverable oil equivalent.

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Norway’s Equinor acquired 26 licenses, while Norwegian oil company Aker BP won stakes in 17 licenses, and Germany’s Wittnershall Dea won stakes in 11, according to the specialized energy platform.

The Ministry of Finance aims to record record revenues from the oil and gas industry in Norway during the year 2023, amounting to approximately $131 billion.

Record revenues for the sector in 2023

A fishing boat returning from the Arctic Barents Sea – Photo Credit: Reuters

The financial statement for the 2023 budget showed that the sector’s revenues are expected to reach 1.38 trillion Norwegian kroner ($ 131 billion), a record nearly double, compared to what was achieved during the past two years.

Oil and gas revenues were recorded at 1.17 trillion crowns in 2022, while they were only 288 billion crowns in 2021, according to the specialized energy platform.

These expectations are based on Europe’s increased dependence on Norwegian gas imports, after Russian gas supplies have been almost completely cut off since September 2022.

The Ministry of Finance’s standard estimates are also based on European gas prices doubling 3 times or more during 2022, with expectations that they will continue to flare up in light of the loss of hope that the Russian war on Ukraine will end during 2023 at least.

The ministry also expected an increase in oil production in Norway by 15% in 2023, with the entry into production of the Johan Sverdrup field.

($1 USD = 9.88 NOK)

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