Det norske will have targeted efforts in securing new licenses in the North after the Norwegian Petroleum and Energy Ministry announced 94 new exploration blocks in 21st runde. round. Managing Director Erik Haugane believes the announcement is an important boost for Northern Norway.
Det norske and Erik Haugane has been a driving force for increased activity in the area, particularly in the Barents Sea.
– Several of the announced blocks looks interesting and we will certainly apply for new exploration areas in both the Barents Sea and the Norwegian Sea. However, we must be selective and will use the time ahead to go thoroughly through the areas before we seek.
Haugane says there is too much attention to the number of blocks, and that the processes around these announcements are too extensive.
– It is not the assigned square kilometers that will prevent a fall in production, but oil and gas discoveries. More announced blocks can increase creativity in exploration, but the most important thing is how many blocks are actually allocated, and the quality of these.
The public debate on access to new acreage must be broader than just include Nordland VI and VII.
– Land Market in the North Sea is like onshore. The oldest sites are the best, but it is possible to do a coup when the government opens new areas. We believe that the cost for Norway by leaving the old land lie fallow is too high. The government must now put the foot down and demand for relinquishment of land, also located close to existing installations, before the companies owning such plots are given new areas.
Haugane says that the risk of oil activities on the Norwegian continental shelf has not changed after the accident in the Gulf of Mexico, but he understands that it raised questions about the safety after such an accident.
– There are still many speculations about the causes of the accident. The investigation will likely learn Americans and others how rules, procedures and requirements we operate under on the Norwegian Continental Shelf, reduce the risk of such accidents. Although the industry has historically managed to stop the blowouts pretty quickly, this accident shows that the industry must begin work to develop technical means that within a few days can stop a blowout also on the seabed. A pre-tested method with the necessary equipment ready in stock, will be a good insurance, even though the need for use of the equipment is very small.
Haugane thinks Norway as an oil nation, must accept the costs of such work.
– It is important that people are confident that the oil industry is safe. The experience after 40 years of oil activity is that this is possible. Although it has gone well so far, with the exception of Bravo and Alexander Kielland, we work every day to ensure that our operations will be even safer. PSA’s efforts to raise the awareness of participants’ attention on the major accident potential is very important and actively followed up by the Det norske.
Not the size
Erik Haugen is annoyed with statements about the accident in the Gulf of Mexico show that this is an area for large oil companies.
– It is rather the opposite picture I have on the retina. It is one of the world’s largest oil companies which is responsible here. This has also been the case in other major accidents, which partly can be ascribed to the fact that normally it is the biggest companies that operate in the technical frontier. We should not confuse the security of the operations, thinking that small companies can go bankrupt due to a major accident. The latter is not a big loss for the society, the important thing is that the operations are properly conducted. In Norway, we have also established a formal cooperation through NOFO and license terms state that the licensees are required to assist each other if necessary. Dealing with accidents on the Norwegian continental shelf will be relatively operator independent.
About Det norske:
Det norske oljeselskap ASA has interests in a total of 74 licenses, with 37 operatorships. Det norske is the second-largest operating company on the Norwegian Continental Shelf both considering number of operatotships and exploration activity. I 2009 the company operated nine exploration wells, and the high activity will continue in 2010. Det norske runs its activities in a safe and responsible manner in close cooperation with the authorities.
Det norske currently employs a staff of 180. The company`s registered office is located in Trondheim. The company also has offices in Oslo,Harstad, and Stavanger. Det norske is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange (DETNOR).