Licensing rounds

There are two kinds of licensing rounds on the Norwegian continental shelf, the numbered licensing rounds and the Awards in predefined Areas (APA).

The numbered licensing rounds are normally held every other year and include frontier parts of the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS). The Awards in Predefined Areas (APA) are announced every year and comprise the mature parts of the shelf, with known geology and good infrastructure.

Companies that want to become and operator or licensee on the Norwegian continental shelf must be pre-qualified. 

Increased value creation

Companies wanting to pursue petroleum operations on the Norwegian continental shelf must be qualified as a licensee or operator. A prequalification process is provided to assess whether applicants meet government requirements.

A diversity of companies promotes competition and efficient utilisation of resources. Norwegian authorities therefore paves the way for new players on the shelf. New players must be pre-qualified before they can apply in licensing rounds.

They shall contribute to value creation through their technical petroleum expertise. They must also have health, safety and enviroment expertise. 

Area fee

Area fees provides an incentive for companies to move from discoveries to development and production in the areas for which they have been awarded licences. The fees are payable each year per square kilometre of the area covered by a production licence.

No area fee is paid for areas that are being actively explored or where there is production.


Updated: 27/11/2023

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