Norway hands out high number of oil and gas blocks

Norway hands out high number of oil and gas blocks


OSLO, January 17, 2024 – Norway has assigned 62 offshore oil and gas production licences to 24 companies in its latest bid round, the Norwegian Offshore Directorate announced on Tuesday.

A total of 29 licences are in the North Sea, 25 in the Norwegian Sea and 8 in the Barents Sea.

Of the blocks offered, 16 are additional acreage for existing concessions.

Norway’s big local players, Equinor Aker BP and Vår Energi, were the largest winners, taking 39, 27 and 16 licences respectively.

Other big winners include local operator DNO with 14 new concessions, Polish subsidiary PGNiG Upstream Norway with 10 concessions and German energy player Wintershall Dea with 13 concessions.

Other large players took home a number of licences, including Austria’s OMV with six blocks, Japan’s Inpex Corporation taking four blocks and London-based Neptune Energy taking three blocks.

International energy giants also participated, with ConocoPhillips taking three permits in the North Sea and Shell and TotalEnergies signing a licence each in the north Norwegian Sea.


In the last oil and gas round, only 47 licences were offered.

“Companies still have plenty of faith in making more discoveries in areas with familiar geology and close to existing infrastructure,” said Kalmar Ildstad, director of licence management of the Norwegian Offshore Directorate.

“It’s important to prove resources so that available capacity in established process plants and pipeline systems can be utilised.

According to Norway’s energy minister, the country is offering more than double the number of production licences in 2024.

In May 2023, the company launched the Awards in Predefined Areas (APA) 2023 licensing round that encompassed 92 new blocks on offer that ended in August 2023 with 25 companies applying.

Norway’s annual APA rounds began in 2003 for bids on well-known areas or those with planned infrastructure.

The Scandinavian nation is now Europe’s largest oil and gas supplier, having overtaken Russia in 2023.

According to the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, the country is expected to raise its hydrocarbons output by 6.9% in 2024.

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