The awards include six licenses in the North Sea, two licenses in the Norwegian Sea and one license in the Barents Sea. This builds on the firm’s existing portfolio of over 30 licenses on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.

Noreco said that it has commenced the drilling program of 30 wells over three years, and that these new licenses will be evaluated for drilling from 2010 onwards.

Prior to these awards, Noreco’s exploration resources were 330 million barrels of oil equivalent. The current awards are expected to increase the resource base of the company significantly. Noreco said that it will revise its exploration resources following discussions with license partners and maturation of the prospectivity in each license.

Scott Kerr, CEO, said: We are delighted with the success of our 2007 Awards in Predefined Areas (APA) applications. The new licenses will strengthen our position in Norway and will significantly increase the resource base of Noreco.