Licensing for hydrocarbons
Prospecting licences are issued to a maximum of three years, and give permission for prospecting by various geophysical techniques and geochemical methods, geological sampling of the seabed without drilling and drilling for samples to a a depth of 25 m below the seafloor. A licence to prospect for hydrocarbons is a non-exclusive licence and does not entitle the licensee to drill for hydrocarbons, produce hydrocarbons or give him priority to obtain such a licence later.
Applications for prospecting licences are accepted at any time.
Exploration and Production Licences
Exploration and production licences are exclusive licences and are granted in licensing rounds in accordance with the Hydrocarbons Act. However, out-of-round applications may be taken into consideration according to Article 8(5) of the Hydrocarbons Act and Article 3(3) of EU Directive 94/22/EC.
Exploration and production licences are granted for a period of up to 12 years and extended for up to two years at a time to a maximum total duration of 16 years. Once the holder of an exploration licence has fulfilled conditions specified in the licence, he will have priority for an extension of the licence for production for up to 30 years.
Further information on the licensing for exploration and production of hydrocarbons can be found on the website of the Second Licensing Round on the Icelandic Continental Shelf.
The second licensing round opened on 3 October 2011, with a deadline for applications on 2 April 2012. See the brochure Iceland - Offshore Exploration for further information.