Norway has awarded 62 offshore drilling licenses from the country’s 2023 auction, expanding explorable acreage in the Arctic and potentially locking in decades of oil and natural gas supply for European allies.

The Ministry of Energy awarded offshore production permits on the Norwegian Continental Shelf to 24 oil and gas companies, with Equinor ASA and Aker BP ASA landing the majority. It was a more than 30% increase in total licenses from Norway’s 2022 auction.

Norwegian Energy Minister Terje Aasland called the latest auction “important for both employment and value creation, as well as for facilitating Norway’s role as a stable energy supplier to Europe.”

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