For those looking to net deep-water or Barents Sea blocks or to drill high-temperature, high-pressure (HTHP) well, however, a number of specific criteria have been stipulated by the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD).
Applications for the awards in predefined areas 2014 round can be submitted until 2 September, with winners set to be unveiled in the first quarter next year.
The areas on offer have been extended to include six blocks in the Norwegian Sea and three in the Barents Sea, while North Sea blocks are also up for grabs.
The exploration period will be determined on a block-specific basis but work obligations will most likely include requirements for the work schedule to move towards a plan of development within the initial period, NPD said.
If a bidder is looking to operate a licence in the Barents Sea, they will need to have previously drilled at least one well on the Norwegian continental shelf as an operator, or to have relevant experience as an operator outside of the jurisdiction.
Likewise, if a company is looking to operate deep-water acreage, both they and at least one of the other partners in the licence must have drilled a well on the shelf as operator or, once again, have the relevant experience elsewhere. The same criteria apply for those looking to sink HTHP wells.