The total area of sea under Norwegian jurisdiction is 2 039 951 km², which is almost 6.5 times the size of mainland Norway, Svalbard and Jan Mayen. About half the area of seabed consists of sedimentary rock that may contain petroleum. The extent of this area is indicated by the black line on the map.
The map gives an overview of the current status of the Norwegian continental shelf. The green areas have been opened for petroleum activity by the Storting (Norwegian parliament). The yellow areas have also been opened, but are subject to special arrangements as described in the white paper An industry for the future – Norway's petroleum activities. The areas outlined in red are covered by the system of awards in predefined areas (APA).
Awards in predefined areas (APA) 2017
In the APA 2017 round, the predefined area has been expanded by in total 87 blocks, 34 blocks in the Norwegian Sea and 53 blocks in the Barents Sea. The expansion includes blocks west in the Norwegian Sea and areas around Wisting, Alta and Gohta in the Barents Sea.
When the application deadline expired on 1 September, a total of 39 companies had submitted a record high number of applications for new acreage. The aim is to award new production licences at the beginning of 2018.
24th Licensing Round
Nomination and public consultation
In August/September 2016, the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy invited oil companies to nominate blocks in opened areas on the Norwegian shelf for the 24th licensing round. The companies' nominations form an important part of the decision basis for assessments when announcing acreage in the 24th round. In March 2017, the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy sent blocks nominated for announcement on a public hearing process.
On 21 June 2017, the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy announced the 24th licensing round. The licensing round includes all 102 blocks or parts of blocks, that had been on the public hearing process. Nine blocks are located in the Norwegian Sea and 93 blocks in the Barents Sea. The application deadline for companies is 12 p.m. on 30 November 2017, and the aim is to award new production licenses in the in the first half of 2018.