– In these challenging times, it is important to plan for the future. Stable access to new acreage for petroleum exploration is key in order to develop our most important industry further and to maintain the level of activity on the Norwegian Shelf. Awards in pre-defined areas contribute to the exploration of the well-known parts of the shelf, and they are sought-after by the companies, says Minister for Petroleum and Energy, Tina Bru in the press release.

According to the authorities, the overall objective of Norway’s petroleum policy is to provide a framework for the profitable production of oil and gas in a long-term perspective. A stable and predictable framework is key to achieving this goal. Continuation of today’s regular licensing rounds to provide the industry access to new exploration acreage is a pillar of the government’s policy.

– We propose to include 36 new blocks in the pre-defined area. The new acreage is located west in the Norwegian Sea. Through the APA 2020, the government continues to facilitate profitable production of oil and gas in a long-term perspective, says the Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Tina Bru.

In the public consultation, the Ministry asks for consultative input related to whether new and significant information has emerged pertaining the decision about where petroleum activities can be conducted, since the last time the Norwegian Parliament reviewed this question.

The 36 new blocks are all situated west in the Norwegian Sea, marked in pink. The other two sea areas have no proposed area change from APA 2019. Map: NPD.


Awards in Predefined Areas (APA) is one of two equal licensing rounds on the Norwegian continental shelf. The scheme was introduced in 2003 to facilitate exploration in geologically well-known parts of the Shelf.

The APA area includes the geologically most mature parts of the Norwegian continental shelf. The expected size of discoveries in such well-known areas is smaller. Exploration mainly focuses on smaller discoveries that would not justify an independent development but may be profitable if developed in conjunction with other discoveries and/or utilising existing or planned infrastructure.