Greenland Maritime Boundary / Oil and Gas Licenses 2012 Update

Greenland Maritime Boundary Active License Map

Since my previous post in Dec, of 2011, Greenland Exclusive Economic Zone / Oil and Gas Licenses, not much has been seen in terms of eventful exploration results.  In spite of this, Greenland is in continuance with it’s plans to open up Greenland Sea licensing blocks to applications.

Greenland Sea Licensing Rounds – 2012/2013

  • Pre-qualification Round – Paying KANUMAS Group members (see below) will have the opportunity to apply for 11 special licensing blocks (view pre-qualification blocks on above map) ahead of non-members.  Applications for pre-qualification as operators were due in March, of 2012.  Those for exploration and exploitation are due in Dec, of 2012.
  • Regular Round – Regular applications for the 8 remaining blocks, along with those not acquired in the pre-qualification round, will open in June, of 2013.  Applications for pre-qualification as operators will be due in July, of 2013.  Those for exploration and exploitation will be due in Oct, of 2013.

KANUMAS members were among those that partook in preliminary seismic studies for the regions of northwestern and northeastern Greenland starting in late 1989.  Members included Exxon, Statoil, BP, Japan National Oil Corporation (JNOC), Texaco, Shell, and NUNAOIL A/S (Greenland’s state oil company).  Project members were granted preferential position in any future licensing rounds comprising the northeastern region of Greenland.  Today, paying members include ExxonMobil, Statoil, BP, Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC), Chevron, Shell, and NUNAOIL A/S.

Exploration Progress and Results

  • NUNAOIL – Greenland’s state oil company, NUNAOIL, currently holds a 12.5% minority stake in all but one of Greenland’s offshore hydrocarbon license operations.  NUNAOIL holds an 8% minority stake in the southern Salliit license block.
  • Cairn – Cairn has since completed it’s first phase of exploration for offshore Greenland.  8 exploration wells, seismic surveys, and other data were collected in 2011/2012.  As of yet, only indications of oil seeps have been discovered in both western (Pitu) and southern Greenland license blocks.  Despite $1.2 billion in losses from 2011 Greenland operations, chairman Sir Bill Gammell seems poised to press onward.  Shareholders voted down Gammell’s share options package valued at £2.5 million as a result.
  • Statoil – Since having received a 30% farm-out stake in Cairn’s Pitu license block in Jan, of 2012, (read Cairn spreads out the risk – Farms out shares to Statoil) seismic studies have been completed.
  • Korean KORES – Sept, 10, 2012 – Although unrelated to offshore hydrocarbons, State Korean company has been looking at joint mineral operation opportunities in Greenland.



Faroe Islands Maritime Boundary / Oil and Gas Licenses 2012 Update

A lot has changed since my last Faroese post in Dec, of 2011 (read Faroe Islands Exclusive Economic Zone / Oil and Gas Licenses).   Many licenses have been relinquished by several oil & gas firms.  These include the south-eastern L002, L005, L007, L012, L015, and L017 blocks.

Of the firms that are left, Statoil remains dominant with the rights to 100% of L010, and 50% of L006, L008, L009, and L011 (view map above).  Valiant Petroleum holds 100% of L013, and 60% of L014.  ExxonMobil holds 49% of L006, and 50% of L009 and L011.  Atlantic Petroleum, Dong Energy, and OMV are minority players.

Open Door Licensing

The Faroese government has taken on a new strategy with the intent to secure the interest of foreign operators.  The new ‘Open Door’ policy seems to be an attempt to break down one of the current barriers to entry.

From Jarðfeingi, of the Ministry of Industry – The Faroe Islands

Areas which previously have been open for licensing, including relinquished licenses, are included in the area where it is possible to apply for licenses out of round.

The ‘Open Door Area’, now literally up for grabs, follows the current south-eastern maritime boundary contour that circles the mainland  ending at 10 degrees W.  What is unique about the open door policy, is that there need not be competing bids to win a block.  A lower offer ‘could’ take it all.

Any Potential Down the Road?

There has only been one real oil discovery within Faroe waters to date.  This took place in 2001, but was deemed uneconomical.  Drill data from the ‘Marjun” prospect has been re-evaluated, and has been taking on new light.  It would be a far stretch to deem this the  mother lode oil equivalent, but it is certainly a prospect.

Now ten years later the Jarðfeingi people together with foreign experts have looked at the Marjun drill data once again and it has emerged that the reservoir capabilities may not be all that poor as previously thought after all.
This could possibly reinvigorate the only discovery made in Faroe waters to date.

Heri Ziska – Head of Geoscience Dept. at Jarðfeingi – 12 of May, 2012


Iceland’s Exclusive Economic Zone and Licensing Rounds

Iceland Map Maritime Boundaries Licensing Rounds

July, 2012 – Updated map of Iceland showing maritime boundaries, Dreki Area, and Jan Mayen Agreement Area.
  • Dreki Licensing Area – (red gridded area) lies within Iceland’s northeastern maritime boundary.  More information can be found in a 1989 report by Gunnarsson, Sand and Gudlaugsson.
  • Jan Mayen Ridge – thought to have hydrocarbon reserves due to it’s geological similarities with other proven hydrocarbon basins located in the Atlantic northeast.
  • Jan Mayen Agreement area – (green area) represents an agreed upon area, from 1981, between Norway and Iceland.  According to this agreement, either country is entitled to a stake of at least 25% in any hydrocarbon activity taking place in the other country’s agreement section.  The area is defined by the 70º 35′ N, 68º 00′ N, 10º 30′ W, and 6º 30′ W co-ordinates.

Licensing Rounds

  • The first oil and gas licensing round within Icelandic waters took place in 2009. The auction comprised of the northernmost 42,700 sq. km’s of the Dreki area of northeastern Iceland.  The round yielded interest from Aker Exporation, along with a joint bid from Sagex Petroleum and Lindir Exploration.  Two thirds of the bids were for land plots situated within the special Jan Mayen Agreement area (See definition). Unattractive terms later lead the two bidders to retract.
  • The second oil and gas licensing round opened on the 3rd of October, 2011. Applications deadlines were set to the 2nd of April, 2012.  Awards will take place prior to the end of November, 2012.

Further, updated (2012), information related to the Icelandic licensing rounds can be found in this brochure.

  • Orkustofnun – Iceland Offshore Exploration –
  • Orkustofnun – Announcement of the Second Licensing Round on the Icelandic Continental Shelf –
  • United Nations – Delimitation Treaties Infobase – Agreement on the Continental Shelf Between Iceland and Jan Mayen, 22 October 1981 –