APA 2023

All you need to know about the Awards in Predefined Areas (APA) 2023.

24 companies offered ownership interests

On 16 January 2024, 24 companies were offered ownership interests in a total of 62 production licences on the Norwegian shelf in awards in pre-defined areas (APA) 2023. This is an increase compared with the three previous years.

Press release from the Ministry of Energy

Important information


Still significant interest for exploration in mature areas

Read more:

Awards in predefined areas 2023 (TFO 2023)

The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy announced APA 2023 on 10 May 2023, encompassing the predefined areas with blocks in the Norwegian Sea, Norwegian Sea and Barents Sea.

Application deadline

The deadline to apply for APA 2023 is 12:00 noon on Wednesday, 23 August 2023. Applicants are encouraged to submit in good time before the deadline. Awards are expected during the first quarter of 2024.

Available acreage

Since APA 2022, the predefined areas (APA acreage) have been expanded by 78 blocks in the Barents Sea and 14 blocks in the Norwegian Sea. Applications can be submitted for all available blocks or parts of blocks within the predefined areas. Blocks or parts of blocks that become available less than 3 months prior to the application deadline, cannot be applied for. That means that all acreage approved for relinquishment in the period up to three months prior to the application deadline is considered to be announced as of the application deadline. Relinquished area is included on a continuous basis in the predefined area on the NPD's interactive Factmap, and maps covering the final area that can be applied for will be provided as soon as practically possible. See links below.

Acreage that has been awarded to exploration or exploitation license for storage of CO2 cannot be applied for in APA rounds.

Acreage that has been announced will be available for application in APA rounds,. If licences for CO2 storage are awarded before the application deadline in an APA round, this acreage will no longer be available for application in APA.

CO2 storage license

Blocks, or parts of blocks, that overlap with the proposal to change SVO Havområdene rundt Svalbard and the proposal to change SVO Tromsøflaket are being announced with certain reservations: If the geographical extent of the mentioned SVOs is changed by the Storting in its processing of the Management Plan in 2024, the current terms and conditions for petroleum activities in the two respective SVOs will also apply for any permits in relevant blocks awarded in APA 2023, cf. announced environmental, HSE, and fisheries requirements for the Barents Sea.

Map of area available for application in predefined areas as at the announcement dateMap of area available for application in predefined areas as at the announcement date

The maps show licenced acreage within the APA boundaries as of May 10th, 2023. These areas can change during the application period. The NPD's interactive FactMaps contain daily updated information showing the current area available for application.



How to apply in APA 2023

Each company that applies for production licences in APA 2023 must submit the following to the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate and the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy:

  1. Application letter, company information and receipt for paid application fee
  2. Application(s)

The submission to the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) is via L2S Authority Communication.

The submission to the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy (MPE) shall be sent in any electronic format. L2S Authority Communication is one possible solution for submission this year.

1. Application letter, company information and receipt for paid application fee

The formal application letter with an overview of all applications the company is participating in, both individually and as a participant in group application(s), shall be submitted together with the company information. See Guide to application letter and company information APA 2023 for more information (pdf)

An application fee of NOK 123,000 must be paid for each application to APA 2023, including applications for additional acreage. When several companies join in a group application to apply for a production licence, this counts as one application. One of the members of the group pays the fee. Payment shall be made to the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, account no.: 7694.05.00326, marked "APA2023 (block number)". A copy of the receipt must be enclosed with the application letter from the company.

2. Application(s)

Each application for a production licence in APA 2023 must be submitted in electronic format. See Guide to Application for Production Licence APA 2023 (pdf)


Forms that must be completed

Shape files that must be included

Other application information:

Available data:

Contact NPD:



Updated: 16/01/2024

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