Our exploration and production operations in the country are regulated by a Production License (PL) that gives us authorisation to carry out seismic surveys, drilling and production until the contract expires, with the possibility of renewal. In December 2018, we completed the merger between companies Point Resources AS and Eni Norge AS, 100% owned by HitecVision and Eni, respectively. The resulting creation of Vår Energi AS will enable us to strengthen our operational structure in the country and expand and differentiate our mining portfolio. In September 2019, the company acquired ExxonMobil's upstream assets in over 20 production fields. Following this acquisition, Vår Energi AS will have reserves and resources of over 1.9bn boe, with a production of about 300 thousand boe/d in 2019 and over 350 thousand in 2023, thanks to investments of about $7bn that the company scheduled for allocation for 2020-2023 to develop projects such as Johan Castberg, Balder X and Grand.
In 2019, Vår Energi was awarded 13 exploration licences: two operator licenses in the North Sea and two in the Barents Sea, and five licenses as partner in the North Sea and four as partner in the Norwegian Sea. Exploration activities yielded positive results with the delineation well of the Cape Vulture oil and gas discovery in the PL 128/128D license (8% Eni-owned), located near the production plant in the Norne field (4.8% Eni-owned). We also made a new oil discovery in the PL 532 license (20.88% Eni-owned), near the Johan Castberg project. Finally, we drilled the Goliat West oil well in licence PL 229 (45.24% Eni-owned), increasing estimated reserves in the Goliat production field, as well as the oil and gas well in licence PL 869, in which Vår Energi holds a 20% interest. Development activities included the Trestakk project (5.5% Eni-owned), launching in 2019, the Johan Castberg development project, with production expected to start in 2022, the sanction and the final investment decision (FID) of the operated project of Balder X (Eni’s interest 62.64%) in the PL 001 lincense, in the Norwegian section of the North Sea. The project includes a new development plan and operating activities on the production fields and drilling activities of additional productive wells.
Eni through Vår Energi will participate in a total of new 17 licenses as a result of the Awards in Predefined Areas 2019 (APA) by the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy of Norway (MPE).
Vår Energi has been granted the following 7 operatorships (OP) and 10 partnerships in licenses distributed over the three main oil and gas provinces in the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS):
North Sea: PL 1043 (OP), PL 1042, PL 1035, PL 987 B, PL 984 BS, PL 917 B, PL 055 E
Norwegian Sea: PL 1070, PL 1065 (OP), PL 947 B
Barents Sea: PL 1080, PL 1079 (OP), PL 1078, PL 1075 (OP), PL 1074 (OP), PL 1073 (OP), PL 1072 (OP)
Following the recent completion of the acquisition of ExxonMobil’s upstream assets in Norway, the results of the APA 2019 reinforces Vår Energi’s position as a major independent E&P company in Norway. The new exploration licenses are located both around operated hubs and in other areas, confirming Vår Energi’s strategy and commitment to the exploration of the NCS.