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Norway opens up 109 North Sea blocs for oil exploration

OSLO, Oct 28 (AFP) - The Norwegian ministry of oil and energy published Monday a list of 109 blocs or portions of blocs located in the North Sea and open for exploration by international oil companies. Interested groups have until January 28, 2003 to apply, the ministry said in a statement.Exploration licences should be awarded beginning in the second quarter of 2003. Oil Minister Einar Steensnaes estimated that the Norwegian continental shelf, despite its maturity, still concealed "significant resources". With daily production of about three million barrels, Norway is one of the world's leading oil exporters.