Norway has awarded 10 new licences to energy companies for oil exploration in the Arctic.
They are a total of 40 blocks, according to the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy.
They have been awarded to 13 companies including ConocoPhillips, Chevron and Statoil and British firms Tullow and Centrica.
Three out of the 10 licences awarded are in a newly opened area in the southeast of the Barents Sea.
Energy Minister Tord Lien said: “We are opening a new chapter in the history of the Norwegian petroleum industry. For the first time in twenty years, we offer new acreage for exploration. This will contribute to employment, growth and value creation in Norway. Northern Norway is now in the forefront of further developing the Norwegian petroleum industry.”
Las year oil giant Shell decided to stop exploring for oil and gas in the Arctic.