Discovery of Hod and Valhall
Finding Hod and Valhall was more closely linked than one might suppose. Amoco had caught whiffs of both fields before Phillips Petroleum made the nearby Ekofisk discovery, but it made its breakthrough only came after the latter had begun production. And that was after something pretty close to espionage by Amoco.
Could Valhall have been Danish?
Negotiations on a division of the North Sea were still under way between the Norwegian and Danish governments when Norway awarded its first production licences in August 1965. The boundary with Denmark was still only temporary. A boundary with the UK had only been approved the previous June. It was based on the median line, and the Norwegian expectation was that this principle would also be applied with the Danes. Since the talks had still to be concluded, however, the blocks closest to the temporary border – which included Hod and parts of Valhall – were excluded from Norway’s first offshore licensing round. This acreage was not awarded until 1968. The question is whether a possibility ever existed during the negotiations, which began in 1964 and were concluded on 8 December 1995, that Valhall and Hod – and Ekofisk too, for that matter – could have ended up on the Danish side of the boundary?