Norway Launches Bid Round

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Norway has launched its annual bid round for 84 exploration blocks in predefined "mature" offshore areas. The bid deadline is Sep. 8, with 70 blocks up for grabs in the Barents Sea, 10 in the Norwegian Sea and four in the Norwegian North Sea. Norway's Petroleum and Energy Ministry plans to award new production licenses early in 2022 as part of the so-called awards in predefined areas (APA) round. Petroleum and Energy Minister Tina Bru said the exploration bid round is important for maintaining the level of activity offshore Norway in line with the government’s long-term policy for the petroleum industry (IOD May21'21). Norway is due to publish a new energy policy road map on Jun. 11 laying out its plans to decarbonize the economy. Oslo has pledged to cut emissions by up to 55% from 1990 levels by 2030, as part of its commitment to the Paris climate agreement. The APA licensing rounds were launched in 2003 to facilitate exploration in more mature offshore areas. Discoveries are often small and only economic if developed as tie-backs to existing infrastructure or in combination with other finds.

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