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Norway adds 37 new exploration blocks for oil and gas in the Arctic seas

The Norwegian Ministry of Energy has announced the expansion of the blocks offered to explore for oil and gas in the Norwegian and the Arctic Barents Seas in the Annual Predefined Areas (APA) 2024 licensing round. Based on petroleum assessments, the APA acreage for APA 2024 was expanded by 37 blocks or parts of blocks, including 34 blocks in the Barents Sea and 3 blocks in the Norwegian Sea.

The annual predefined areas (APA) rounds of exploration acreage have been expanded as part of Norway's strategy to extend its oil and gas production, considering a need to safeguard jobs, income for the community and Europe's energy security. The deadline for individual oil firms to apply for the new acreage is 3 September 2024, and a decision on awards is expected during the first quarter of 2025. 

In early May, the APA 2024 was announced by the Norwegian Ministry of Energy encompassing the predefined areas with blocks in the Norwegian Sea and the Barents Sea. At the end of 2022, Norway had important hydrocarbon reserves with 1,959 bcm of natural gas and 1,025 Mt of oil, most of them located in the North Sea.