14 February 2023

Norway intending to make a record number of Arctic oil and gas exploration blocks available in 2023

In order to increase its hydrocarbon production and supply to Europe, the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy intends to offer 92 oil and gas exploration blocks in the Arctic under its concession round TFO 2023 (allocation in predefined areas).

“New discoveries remain necessary to continue to develop the Norwegian plateau” and are important for Europe, Oil and Energy Minister Terje Aasland said in a statement.

The largest gas supplier to Europe and a significant exporter of crude, the Nordic nation, wants to give energy companies 78 blocks in the Barents Sea and 14 new blocks in the Norwegian Sea, the most since the APA licensing round started in 2003. The oil companies must submit their applications, for an awarding of the permits which will take place in January 2024.

Norwegian Oil and Energy Minister Terje Aasland said: “We constantly need discoveries to develop the Norwegian continental shelf further. The proposal for a tender sent out for consultation includes adding 92 blocks in the north to the TFO (round of allocation in predefined areas). Facilitating discoveries in the north is important for Europe, the country and the region.”

According to the Financial Times, Norway has overtaken Russia as Europe’s largest gas provider since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February.

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