Norway allows drilling in east Arctic
On August 28th Norway has launched a bid competition for official sanction to drill in the waters of the eastern Arctic. The oil and gas companies have time till January 14th to designate the areas where they want to drill for oil. For the first time the companies will nominate the areas for drilling including the eastern part of Barents Sea. However, only limited number of blocks might be licensed as the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) plans to build up drilling activity only gradually. The NPD reported that approximately 1,9 billion barrels of oil equivalent can be found in the eastern area of the Barents, 15 percent of which is oil.
24 licenses of energy firms have been already approved by the Norwegian government this year. 20 of these licenses referred to areas of the western part of the Barents. To the biggest winners of the previous competitive bidding round belong Norway's Statoil and Italy's Eni. New and awarded participants were the Russian companies Lukoil and Rosneft.