Norway to take lessons from US spill in offshore licensing

Norway announced a reduced number of offshore oil blocks offered for exploration on Wednesday, with licence allocation to be done in light of the oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, a minister said.

The Norwegian petroleum and energy ministry launched a call to tenders for licensing on some 94 blocks in the Norwegian and Barents sea, six blocks less than it had planned to offer.

According to Norwegian media, the diminished offer was brought about by tensions between ministries, the environment ministry wanting to limit the number of blocks to 82, and the fisheries ministry calling for 92 blocks to be offered to licensing.

Petroleum and Energy Minister Terje Riis-Johansen said the attribution of new licences, expected in the first half of 2011, “will be done in light of what we are observing today in the Gulf of Mexico.”

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Source: AFP

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