The Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy has received applications from 31 companies in connection with the Awards in Predefined Areas (APA) 2021 licencing round.

The deadline for applications was 8 September, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) said on Wednesday.

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

The NPD will now start the work of evaluating the applications with a focus on geological understanding and plans for exploration of the areas.

Kalmar Ildstad, director of licence management at the NPD, said: “It’s gratifying to see the continued high level of interest to identify additional resources near existing fields and infrastructure”.

In a separate statement on Wednesday, the ministry said that the APA area is being expanded as geological knowledge in areas on the Norwegian shelf increases. In this year’s licensing round, the predefined area was expanded in the North Sea, the Norwegian Sea, and the Barents Sea.

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

The companies that have applied include: Aker BP, Shell, Chrysaor, Concedo, ConocoPhillips, DNO Norge, Equinor, 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, OKEA, 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, Vår Energi, Wellesley Petroleum, and Wintershall Dea Norge.

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