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The Wall Street Journal: Norway Offers Licenses On Shelf In 18th Round



June 8, 2004 4:17 a.m.


Edited Press Release


STOCKHOLM -- Norway's Ministry of Petroleum and Energy Tuesday said it has offered participation in production licenses and operatorships in the North Sea and Norwegian Sea in the 18th licensing round.


"This licensing round is comprehensive both in the North Sea and the Norwegian Sea, and includes frontier acreage with a high potential in addition to more explored areas with lower risks. There is also an interesting mix of large established companies and smaller, relatively new actors," said Einar Steensnaes, minister of Petroleum and Energy.


"This award lays the foundation for an efficient exploration of large parts of the frontier acreage in the North Sea and the Norwegian Sea," Steensnaes said.


The ministry said it has offered Statoil ASA (STO) nine participation in production licenses, Norsk Hydro ASA (NHY) four, Royal Dutch/Shell (RD SC) four, ENI SpA (ENI) four, BG PLC (BRG) two, Gaz de France (4774.FR) two, ChevronTexaco Corp. (CVX) two, RWE Dea (DEA.XE) two, Pertra two, DONG one, Amerada Hess (AHC) one, Paladin Resources PLC (PLR.LN) one, Esso one, Total (TOT) one, Idemitsu (IKC.YY) one and Revus one.


As well, it said it has offered four operatorship blocks to Statoil, two to Hydro, two to Shell , two to ENI, one to Total, one to Pertra, one to Paladin, one to Esso, one to ChevronTexaco and one to RWE Dea.


The ministry said that some adjustments to the framework conditions have been made in this licensing round compared with the 17th licensing round. The rules for relinquishment are changed so that companies, upon the expiry of the initial period, can keep the areas where resources have been proven through drilling. The rest of the awarded acreage has to be relinquished.


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