Norwegian oil exploration firm North Energy has launched a strategic review after being approached over potential strategic opportunities as market conditions remain difficult.
The firm says the continued low oil price presents challenges, but also opportunities for investment. It says it would explore options including remaining a stand-alone entity as well as a combination with others.
"The recent developments in the oil market has impacted the outlook for exploration activities, which has become more challenging in light of a lower oil price as well as large cuts in capital expenditures by the industry," says the firm.
"Although these developments present challenges, it is also evident that they will present attractive opportunities to invest in organic growth initiatives and further exploration assets."
North Energy said it would also evaluate its own cost base.
North Energy has licenses across the Norwegian Continental Shelf, including in the North Sea, Norwegian Sea and Barents Sea.
It is due to participate in four exploration wells next year: Tvillingen Sor, operated by Maersk, in the Norwegian Sea, in Q1, using the Leiv Eiriksson semisubmersible, Zumba, operated by Tullow, also in the Norwegian Sea, in Q2, Haribo, in the North Sea and operated by Edison, due in Q3, and Ornen, in the Barents Sea, due to be drilled by Lundin in Q3.
The firm has promoted its "Eureka concept," which consists of subsea tunnels, leading to caverns where a drilling rig can be placed and wells drilled to one or more fields.