Norway awards 47 new oil and gas exploration licences

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Norway’s Ministry of Petroleum and Energy has issued 47 new oil and gas exploration licenses on the Norwegian continental shelf to 25 companies. This move is regarded as critical to Europe’s energy security as Russia continues to hit much of the continent with deep energy supply cuts as part of its ongoing war with Ukraine.

Companies which received licences include ConocoPhillips, TotalEnergies, and Wintershall Dea.

Guyana, Suriname bid rounds to fuel new competitive oil market – S&P Global | OilNOW

Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Terje Aaslan said the new production licenses are important to maintain the production of oil and gas over time, both for Norway and Europe.

More awards are also expected from European nations as the United Kingdom is nearing the close of its 33rd bid round. This auction features 932 blocks.

Europe is not the only continent in the race for energy security. Over in Africa, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Gambia, Sierra Leone, Sudan, South Sudan and Senegal, also launched licensing rounds in 2022 and are expected to award them in 2023.

Within the Caribbean region, Trinidad and Tobago’s Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries said it received 16 bids for eight out of 11 onshore and nearshore blocks which were put up for auction in 2022.

Suriname’s state-owned oil company Staatsolie also launched a bid round for six offshore blocks last year. Bidding closes on May 31, 2023.

Despite there being several bid rounds held in various corners of the world, Guyana has faced criticisms for the launch of its maiden bid round with 11 shallow water blocks and 3 deep water concessions. There are concerns that Guyana would increase its emissions footprint, hurt its reputation as a champion for green economies, and even risk becoming one of the culprits behind intensified climate change effects.

However, the government has made it clear that the country, already a net-zero carbon emitter, has the right to develop its resources to the benefit of the Guyanese people. This position is in line with countries across the world, including those with the largest emissions, continuing to vigorously pursue oil and gas exploration and development.

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