Iceland oil license coming CNOOC’s way

Iceland’s National Energy Authority (NEA) is done processing the application for an E&P license in the Dreki Area presented by Chinese state-owned oil giant CNOOC and Eykon Energy, an Icelandic company established last year. The Dreki Area is the Icelandic half of the region that surrounds the Norwegian island of Jan Mayen, and a 1981 treaty gives each country the right to a 25% share in any oil drilling licenses awarded in the other’s sector. The Norwegians did take up a stake in the two licenses awarded so far by Iceland, but it’s less clear if they would do so this time, just after the new government there has suspended exploration plans in the Norwegian sector. Norway has now a month to decide if they want a share. By mid November, CNOOC will then be the biggest oil company with an interest in Icelandic oil. The other two are Ithaca Energy and Faroe Petroleum, 23% of which is (for the time being) owned by Korean major KNOC. I’ve written about this topic in some length.

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