A total of 278 blocks, each covering up to 500 square kilometres, were put on offer below the 62nd parallel – taken as the northern limit of the North Sea. This is by far the largest licensing round in Norwegian oil history.
Eleven applications had been received by the deadline of 15 June, with interest concentrated on 81 blocks. Since petroleum exploration represents a huge financial risk, a number of the applications came from company consortia. Phillips, for example, had joined forces with Norsk Fina A/S and Norsk Agip A/S.
In all, 78 blocks were licensed on 18 August. The Phillips group secured three of these production licences – PL 016 for blocks 7/8, 8/1, 16/11 and 17/12, PL 017 for 8/8, 8/10 and 8/11, and PL 018 for 1/5, 2/4, 2/7 and 7/11.Could Ekofisk have been Danish?Phillips opens Stavanger office