A German subsidiary of energy company RWE said new licenses in the Norwegian Sea signals its long-term commitment to regional developments. RWE Dea Norge announced it was awarded seven licenses for oil and natural gas exploration. The company serves as operator of two areas in the Norwegian Sea, while the other five supplement areas that the company is already exploring. Hans-Joachim Polk, a regional director for RWE Dea Norge, said the awards represent a vote of confidence from the Norwegian government. \"They will strengthen our existing strong and long-time presence on the Norwegian shelf, and signal our commitment to continue to make a valuable contribution in the years to come,\" he said in a statement. The Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy said it received proposals from 37 companies vying for the rights to more than 200 blocks in the country. Of those, 181 are in the Barents Sea, the highest ever. Norway has been touting the resource potential on its continental shelf. Norwegian energy company Statoil said it expected to maintain a production capacity from the Norwegian Continental Shelf of around 600,000 barrels of oil per day for the rest of the decade.