Norway plans to offer 92 oil and gas exploration blocks in the Arctic in 2023

25 Jan 2023

The Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy plans to offer 92 oil and gas exploration blocks in the Arctic in 2023 under its concession round TFO 2023 (allocation in predefined areas), as it seeks to prolong its hydrocarbon production and its supply to Europe. Norway proposes to offer 78 blocks to energy firms in the Barents Sea and 14 new blocks in the Norwegian Sea, the highest number since the allocations in predefined areas (APA) licensing round began in 2003. The permits will be awarded in January 2024.

In 2022, Norway offered only 28 new exploration blocks in the Barents Sea, compared to 84 in 2021 (including 70 in the Barents Sea, 10 in the Norwegian Sea and 4 in the North Sea). Earlier in January 2023, Norway awarded 47 new oil and gas exploration permits to 25 companies for the APA 2022 licensing round. 29 drilling permits were awarded in the North Sea, 16 in the Norwegian Sea and two in the Barents Sea.

Norway’s oil output is expected to rise by 7% in 2023 while gas volumes are predicted to remain similar to 2022 around 122 bcm. Norway became Europe’s largest gas supplier in 2022 after Russia cut much of its gas supply over the year.

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