With 39 new licenses, Equinor seeks to reduce Norway’s production decline

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Equinor was awarded 39 new production licenses by Norway’s Ministry of Energy. The licenses, distributed across the North Sea, Norwegian Sea, and Barents Sea, position Equinor as the operator in 14 of these licenses and a partner in 25 others.

Jez Averty, Equinor’s senior vice president for subsurface in the Norwegian continental shelf, expressed satisfaction with the award. “These licenses give Equinor and our partners new opportunities to further develop the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) as an energy province. We are familiar with the geology and confident that we will make new discoveries,” he stated.

Averty emphasized the importance of active exploration in reducing the production decline on the NCS. He pointed out that introducing oil and gas from new discoveries is vital for securing long-term activity and contributing to energy security, especially in the context of the European and UK energy transition.

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Equinor’s strategy in Norway includes operating 35 offshore platforms with low production emissions. The company also boasts of processing and export infrastructures that have largely been paid off. This setup allows for rapid development of infrastructure-led discoveries at a reduced cost and with minimal greenhouse gas emissions from production and transportation.

“We are modernizing the infrastructure on the NCS with an eye to the energy transition,” Averty remarked. He explained that Equinor’s commitment to reducing emissions in line with the Paris Agreement is integral to its energy transition plan. 

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Norwegian authorities have expanded this year’s round of awards by adding 92 blocks in the northwest of the Norwegian Sea and west of the Barents Sea. Averty highlighted Equinor’s ongoing projects in the North, including the Snøhvit Future and Johan Castberg, and its focus on exploring gas potential in the Barents Sea in collaboration with Vår Energi and Aker BP.

Equinor plays a critical role in exploration on the NCS, operating or participating in 20-30 exploration wells. About 80% of these are near existing infrastructure and in known geology, while the remaining 20% are new ideas developed from continuous geological knowledge advancements offshore.

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