The Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy said it received applications from 50 companies for work on the Norwegian continental shelf.
Energy Minister Ola Borten Moe said Friday a high level of interest was needed to ensure long-term and stable production offshore.
"Timely exploitation of the mature areas on the shelf is a prerequisite for achieving this," he said in a statement. "The fact that so many companies have expressed interest in new awards in mature areas is very positive."
The minister said the acreage in question is expected to contain only minor discoveries. Through good resource management, he said history shows there is the potential for further exploitation of existing fields.
The government said last month average daily production of oil and associated products was more than 1.9 million barrels for July, a 15 percent increase from the previous month. Natural gas production of approximately 325 billion cubic feet was 11 percent more than in June.
The government said it plans to award new production licenses for mature fields in January.
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