VIENNA, July 2 (UPI) -- Austrian energy company OMV said Tuesday it established itself as a leader in the Norwegian energy sector by securing six more licenses for operations offshore.
OMV said it would serve as the operator at two of the six exploration licenses awarded during an auction held last week by the Norwegian government.
"These awards rank OMV in the first place for non-Norwegian companies and as an overall second behind [Norwegian energy company] Statoil in this licensing round," the company said in a statement.
Norway is a regional leader in terms of oil and natural gas production. OMV said it was targeting natural gas reserves in the deep waters of the Norwegian Sea with some of its new acquisitions.
Assets acquired in the Barents Sea are considered frontier territory. OMV said it has been working "intensively" to build its position in the region. It said it expects to drill up to eight new exploration wells in the Barents Sea through 2014.
OMV said Tuesday it considers Norway one of its most important growth regions for new exploration and production opportunities.