The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy has announced the annual licensing round for mature areas on the continental shelf. The aim is to award new production licences in the announced areas in early 2013, Norway Post reported. “Awards in pre-defined areas (APA) is an important tool in managing the petroleum resources on the Norwegian shelf and they are also a key instrument in our strategy for the mature areas. Small discoveries can be tied in to existing infrastructure and there may also be a potential for independent developments. The result is extended lifetimes for existing infrastructure and production from new discoveries, in other words a win-win situation,” said Minister of Petroleum and Energy Ola Borten Moe.
APA 2012 has expanded the pre-defined area by a total of 48 blocks or parts of blocks, compared with the area in APA 2011, distributed among two in the North Sea, 13 in the Norwegian Sea and 33 in the Barents Sea. This APA expansion represents follow-up of the decisions made in the management plans and the expansion is important in order to achieve the goals for further petroleum activities set in the Petroleum White Paper. “Decisions in the management plans have formed the basis for this year’s APA expansion and this ensures sound management of important environmental and fishery concerns. The expansion is important for continued good resource utilisation,” the Minister of Petroleum and Energy said.