Licensing for hydrocarbons

Exploration and Production Licences drillingtower

Exploration and production licences are exclusive licences and are granted in licensing rounds in accordance with the Hydrocarbons Act.

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.

Information on exploration and production licences can be found here.

For further information on oil exploration in Iceland see the brochure Iceland - Offshore Exploration.

Prospecting Licences

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 and application guidelines can be found here.