Pick an oil field along the Russian border

The 23rd Norwegian licensing round will have an exclusive focus on formerly disputed Norwegian-Russian waters.

The Norwegian Ministry of Energy invites oil companies to nominate desired blocks in formerly disputed Barents Sea waters.


The southeastern part of the Norwegian Barents Sea constitutes the key area in the 23rd Norwegian licensing round. In a presentation this week, Minister Ola Borten Moe invited the oil industry to nominate blocks in the area, which until 2011 was part of disputed Norwegian-Russian waters.

The invitation for nominations comes after the Norwegian government in April this year officially announced that it was opening the area for the petroleum industry. The decision was made after the elaboration of a consequence study, presented in October 2012.

The Barents Sea southeast will open up very significant opportunities for Northern Norway and Finnmark County. I’m following up the opening by including these areas in the 23rd licencing round,” Minister Moe said in a statement this week. Oil companies will have to submit their nominations by January 14, 2014, a press release reads

The new licenses come after the distribution of a major number of Barents Sea licenses also in the 22nd License Round.

According to the ministry, the companies’ nominations will form an important part of the government`s decisions regarding new licenses. Nominations in the Barents Sea southeast will take place on the basis of the seismic data acquired by the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate as part of the opening process. 

As previously reported by BarentsObserver, the 23 licensing round and the blocks in the southeastern Barents Sea was a key motivation for Lukoil and Rosneft to engage on the Norwegian shelf. Both companies are pre-qualified for Norwegian waters and are expected to work actively for licenses in the area.