Three Icelandic companies have been founded specifically for oil exploration in the so-called Dragon Zone, off Iceland’s northeastern coast between Iceland and Jan Mayen, Norway, and have applied for permits at the National Energy Authority to that effect.
A gas station in Iceland. Archive photo by Páll Kjartansson.
At 4 pm yesterday the National Energy Authority was closed for further applications for oil exploration in the area, visir.is reports.
Director of Energy Guðni A. Jóhannesson declared this to be a very satisfying outcome. “And it exceeds our brightest hopes,” he said, adding that the companies in question are backed by parties that are experienced in oil exploration in the region.
The three companies that have applied are Valiant Petroleum and Kolvetni, Faroe Petroleum and Íslenskt kolvetni and Eykon Energy.
Kolvetni is owned by Jón Helgi Guðmundsson, the majority owner of the hardware chain store Byko, and his business partner Gunnlaugur Jónsson, who hold a combined 50 percent share, the engineering firm Mannvit, which has a 25 percent share, and Norwegian businessman Terje Hagevang, who holds the remaining 25 percent, according to ruv.is.
Hagevang is CEO of British oil company Valiant and used to run Sagex, a Norwegian company, which made tenders for oil exploration in the Dragon Zone in 2009. Jón Helgi and Gunnlaugur both have shares in Valiant.
Íslenskt kolvetni is owned by the engineering firm Verkís, Icelandic oil company Olís and the company Dreki Holding.
A group of investors are behind Eykon Energy: chairman Heiðar Már Guðjónsson, Ragnar Þórisson, Jón Einar Eyjólfsson and the aforementioned Gunnlaugur Jónsson and Terje Hagevang.
Minister of Finance and Industry Oddný Harðardóttir was present when the applicants were revealed at the National Energy Authority yesterday.
She stated that the most optimistic forecasts believe that oil exploration will start to deliver extensive income for the state treasury after ten years, visir.is reports.
The National Energy Authority will now review the applications and allocate research and production permits no later than at the end of November, 2012.
Click here to read more about the Dragon Zone.