From Iceland — Iceland Considers Founding State Oil Company

Iceland Considers Founding State Oil Company

Published September 14, 2011

The Ministry of Industry is looking into the idea of founding a state oil company for the purposes of oil exploration in the “Dragon Zone” off the northeast shores of Iceland.

The idea is based on advice from PricewaterhouseCoopers, which believes that the participation of a state oil company would attract greater participation from other companies, RÚV reports.

“We believe that there is no reason to reinvent the wheel. This has been a successful step for countries that we would like to compare ourselves to,” PricewaterhouseCoopers Director Halldór Þorkelsson told RÚV. 

Bids for oil exploration licences, which can be prolonged to a maximum of 16 years, will be accepted from October 3 until April 2, 2012. If exploration is successful, priority can then be granted for a production license up to 30 years, according to National Energy Authority.

The government last offered exploration licenses in 2009, but was not able to generate enough interest from foreign companies. Since then, new laws have been enacted to make it easier for companies to conduct research and production in the area. 

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