OSLO, Norway, July 1 (UPI) -- The Norwegian government said Monday it has seen a surge in interest from energy companies examining prospects in its offshore energy sector.
The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate said seven oil companies have submitted requests for information about the prospects in the Barents Sea and for the waters surrounding the arctic volcanic island Jan Mayen.
The NPD gave no indication of the reserve potential in the areas. It said each package was sold for $1.9 million.
Norway is a regional leader in terms of oil and natural gas production. NPD Director General Bente Nyland said last week eight discoveries were made so far this year on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.
As of Friday, there were nine exploration wells being drilled off Norway.
"The past six months have been busy for the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate," Nyland said in a statement. "So far this year, the discovery rate has been somewhat below average, but a number of interesting wells remain."
The Norwegian government said in June it awarded dozens of new production licenses for energy companies on the country's continental shelf.