Norwegian energy and LNG producer Equinor has been awarded 26 new production licences by Norway’s Ministry of Petroleum and Energy in the latest award in predefined areas (APA) with 12 licences as operator and 14 licences as partner.
“Exploration is essential to secure continued value creation on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS),” said Jez Averty, Equinor’s senior vice president for subsurface in Exploration and Production.
“The APA rounds are very important to us and we are pleased about the award of new production licences,” added Averty.
Equinor’s Hammerfest LNG plant on Melkoya island in northern Norway is currently closed after a fire occurred on September 28 2020.
The facility, which supplies European LNG terminals, is expected to re-open in the current first quarter of 2022 after repairs have been completed.
Equinor said that the 26 production licences are divided as follows: 12 in the North Sea, 10 in the Norwegian Sea and four in the Barents Sea, from where Hammerfest LNG receives its feed gas for processing.
“Equinor’s ambition is to transform the NCS from an oil and gas province to a low-carbon energy province,” the company explained.
“In this transformation, oil and gas play a crucial role, both in delivering energy that is critical to society, but also through the expertise, technology and capital needed to realise the transformation,” added Equinor.
Averty said he believed in the NCS and that there is still substantial value to find and develop.
“A good example is our latest discovery, Toppand, which was awarded in the 2011 APA,” he added.
“This discovery shows the potential for value creation on the NCS, even in mature areas, through use of new information and modern exploration technology,” he stated.
“At least 80 per cent of our exploration resources and investments will be concentrated around existing infrastructure - so-called near-field or infrastructure-led exploration,” declared the Equinor executive.
During 2022, Equinor plans to take part in around 25 exploration wells, mainly near existing infrastructure.
Most of the wells will be drilled in the North Sea, some in the Norwegian Sea and a few in the Barents Sea.