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The exploration activities in the Barents Sea started as far back as 1907 with the first geological expedition to the Spitsbergen archipelago. Exploration for oil and gas started with the Kvadhuken well in 1961, followed by several other wells. Fina Exploration drilled two wells on the Island of Hopen in 1973. The NPD acquired the first seismic data in 1969. The universities collected seismic profiles from 1969 as part of the Continental Shelf Project.

The first licences in the Barents Sea were awarded in the 5th concession round in Norway in 1980. The results so far (2016) are two...

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