Sea ice within the Victoria Strait alongside the Northwest Passage within the Arctic. Twelve licences for oil and fuel exploration within the area have been awarded by Norway. David Goldman/AP

Norway has awarded 12 oil and fuel exploration licences to Equinor and 10 different corporations targeted totally on the Arctic, the place Oslo believes it has the best potential for vital new discoveries.


Nine of the licences are positioned within the Barents Sea and three within the Norwegian Sea off central Norway, the Ministry of Oil and Energy mentioned on Monday.

“This licensing spherical confirms that the oil corporations see alternatives for additional worthwhile petroleum exercise within the north,” Oil and Energy Minister Terje Soeviknes mentioned.

Equinor, previously often called Statoil, was awarded 5 licences and can take part as a non-operating participant in an extra two.

Shell, Aker BP, Lundin, OMV – by which Abu Dhabi is the second-biggest shareholder – and Spirit Energy, a Norwegian three way partnership between Britain's Centrica and Germany's Bayerngas, have been additionally provided operatorships.

Licence operators decide exploration programmes and signal contracts with suppliers, in co-ordination with companions.

In addition, DEA, Idemitsu, M Vest Energy, VNG and Wintershall have been awarded taking part pursuits.

Norway's centre-right authorities has imposed restrictions on drilling in two licences positioned close to Bear Island, an vital nesting floor of Arctic birds.


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