DKCS: What ever happened to the 8th licensing round?Maastrichtian chalk of Aalborg Portland quarry, Jutland. Photo: Terje Solbakk

DKCS: What ever happened to the 8th licensing round?

No news since the application deadline a year ago on Denmark's ongoing license round, and their first offshore exploration well in almost five years turned dry.

On 21st June 2018, the Energy, Utilities and Climate Committee of the Danish Parliament announced the 8th Licensing Round for oil and gas exploration and production on the Danish Continental Shelf (DKCS). The application period closed on the 1st of February 2019. 4 companies had applied, in total submitting 5 applications.

Since then it has been quiet from the Danish Oil and gas front, with the exception of a statement from the prime minister in October 2019 saying “We have started a work in the new government to assess the situation. When we have the foundation we will conclude if there will be an eighth licensing round or not”, according to Reuters.

In February 2018 the Danish government closed all areas east of 6o 15’ for oil and gas exploration and production (link in Danish).

A phone call to the Danish Energy Agency yesterday gave no clarifications on the present state of the 8th licensing round, only a no-comment.

The first wildcat on the DKCS since early 2015 was drilled last autumn, Jill-1 in license 6/16, owned 80 % by Hess. The well targeted a Late-Cretaceous/Early Palaocene chalk reservoir according to GeoExpro, but came in dry, no other information is given, according to a financial report issued by Hess in November 2019. No news is reported elsewhere of the drilling operations, but the drilling facility Maersk Resilient is back in harbour, according to marinetraffic.com.

The last Oil and gas exploration well in Denmark was the onshore dry wildcat Vendsyssel-1 well drilled by Total.

The last offshore well before Jill-1 was the technical discovery Xana-1X drilled by operator Mærsk olie og gas as, in the now-abandoned 9/95 license.

Danish Continental Shelf: Map: GEUS.

According to the Danish State’s oil and gas company Nordsøfonden, several exploration wells might be drilled during 2020.

During the conference NCS Exploration – Recent Discoveries in Oslo on the 12th – 13th of May, several Norwegian exploration wells will be presented.

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Text: TERJE SOLBAKK

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