New North Sea exploration licences handed out

New oil companies getting in the mix

The energy and climate minister, Lars Christian Lilleholt, has handed out 16 new licences for the exploration of oil and natural gas in the Danish part of the North Sea.

Among the 12 oil companies to obtain permits are established players such as Dong Energy and Hess, but there are also three companies new to the Danish market, including the British firm Ardent Oil.

“The income from the North Sea is important to finance our welfare society and ongoing green transition,” said Lilleholt.

“Over time, Danish oil and gas production in the North Sea has brought the state coffers over 400 billion kroner and has generated thousands of jobs that we want to retain for many more years. So I hope that these new permits will lead to new commercial finds that can maintain jobs and funds for the state treasury.”

READ MORE: Oil companies handed new North Sea oil permits

Cheaper early goings
Despite the current low oil prices, newcomer Ardent Oil has already launched preliminary investigations in Denmark and has a seismic ship currently collecting data in its fields.

Bob Moore, the head of Ardent Oil, contended that while oil was more heavily taxed in Denmark than the UK, the preliminary costs were lower in Denmark.

The 12 oil companies awarded licences (see licence details here, in Danish) this time around were Dong Energy, Edison International, Ardent Oil, Hess Denmark, Hansa Hydrocarbons, Danoil, DEA Deutsche Erdoel, Dyas, Dana Petroleum, Wintershall Noordzee, PA Resources and Nordsøfonden.