OSLO, Norway, May 23 (UPI) -- The Norwegian government said Thursday it gave its consent to energy explorers to start drilling activity in the North Sea.
The Norwegian Petroleum Safety Authority said it gave German company RWE-Dea consent to start drilling offshore in shallow waters. Drilling is expected to start at some point this month and last about 92 days, depending on whether the company makes a discovery.
Swedish energy company Lundin Petroleum secured similar concessions for a 13-month drilling program offshore Norway, the agency said.
Lundin said this month that new developments offshore Norway through 2015 will help push production to 70,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, twice the current rate.
Norway is a European leader in terms of oil and natural gas production. Lundin said it finished drilling a well in the Brynhild field in the shallow waters off the Norwegian coast in the North Sea.
"The well encountered no hydrocarbons and is being plugged and abandoned as a dry hole," the company said in a statement.