The total area of sea under Norwegian jurisdiction is 2 279 965 km², which is almost 6 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 the white paper no. 20 (2019-2020). The areas outlined in red are covered by the system of awards in predefined areas (APA).
Awards in predefined areas
Announcement and applications
The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy announced 10 May 2023 the APA 2023. The predefined areas (APA acreage) have been expanded with a total of 92 blocks west in the Norwegian Sea and west in the Barents Sea. When the application deadline expired on 23 September 2023, a total of 25 companies had submitted applications for new exploration acreage on the Norwegian continental shelf. The authorities will announce which companies will be offered ownership interests in APA 2023 early in 2024. More detailed information can be found on the NPD’s website.
10 January 2023, 25 companies have been offered ownership interests in a total of 47 production licences in the APA 2022. Of the 47 production licences, 29 are in the North Sea, 16 in the Norwegian Sea and two in the Barents Sea. 20 of the production licences are additional acreage to existing production licences. More information about APA 2022 can be found at the NPD's website.
25th Licensing Round
Public consultation and announcement
In June 2020, the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy proposed announcing nine areas in the 25th licensing round, distributed over eight areas in the Barents Sea and one area in the Norwegian Sea. The proposal has been submitted for public consultation. The deadline for consultation comments was at 26 August 2020. A total of 30 consultation statements were received.
The 25th licensing round was announced on 19 November 2020. This round comprises a total of 136 blocks/parts of blocks, 125 in Barents Sea and 11 in Norwegian Sea. The deadline for applications was set for 23 February 2021 where seven companies have applied for new production licences.
On the 23th of June 2021 seven companies received offers of ownership interests in a total of four production licenses on the Norwegian Shelf in the 25th licensing round. Three of the licenses are in the Barents Sea and one license is offered in the Norwegian Sea. More detailed information can be found on the NPD's website.