Japanese oil and gas firm INPEX has bagged participating stakes across two exploration licenses offshore Norway during the country’s Awards in Predefined Areas (APA) 2018 licensing round.
The licenses won through its subsidiary INPEX Norge are PL1027 and PL1016.
PL1027 is contained in the western Barents Sea, and is located about 250km off the Norwegian coast. The license is spread over an area of nearly 1,220kms and is contained in water depth of around 440m.
The Japanese firm will have a stake of 20% in PL1027. Lundin with a stake of 40% will be the block’s operator while DEA and DNO, with stakes of 20% each, are the other partners.
PL1016, on the other hand, is contained in the northern Norwegian Sea. The license is located about 250km off the Norwegian coast and is spread over an area of nearly 1,310km2.
The PL1016 block is contained in water depth in the range of about 3500-1,000m. The Japanese firm will have a stake of 40% in the license and is partnered by Austrian oil and gas company OMV, which is the operator with a stake of 60%.
INPEX said that the licenses provide the groundwork needed for its third and fourth exploration projects in Norway after its acquisition of exploration license PL950 last year. Further, the Japanese firm expects the two blocks to contribute towards the further enhancement of its global project portfolio.
The company said that its next move will be to follow the necessary administrative procedures involving Norwegian government authorities, the operators of the licenses and partners before assessing the potential of discovering hydrocarbon deposits via exploration activities.
In addition to the two licenses, the Japanese oil and gas major also secured a 40% participating stake in exploration license PL767B during the APA 2018 licensing round. PL767B is an extension area to exploration license PL767 in which the company acquired a stake of 40% in 2017.
The Japanese firm, in a statement, said: “The acquisition of these licenses is aligned to INPEX’s pursuit of the “sustainable growth of oil and natural gas E&P activities,” one of the growth targets outlined in the company’s “VISION 2040” announced in May 2018.
“Through INPEX Norge AS, which it established in 2014, INPEX will continue to proactively pursue full-scale oil and natural gas exploration and development activities in Norway.”
A total of 83 production licenses on the Norwegian continental shelf were awarded by the Norwegian government during the APA 2018 licensing round.