Equinor cleared for Barents Sea exploration drilling

West Hercules; Photo by Juan Ramon Rodriguez Sosa; Source: Wikimedia under CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

Norwegian oil company Equinor has received consent from the Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) to drill an exploration well off Norway using the West Hercules drilling rig.

West Hercules; Photo by: Juan Ramon Rodriguez Sosa; Source: Wikimedia - under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license

The well, named 7324/3-1, is located in production license 615 in the Barents Sea where Equinor is the operator.

Announcing its consent for the well, the offshore safety regulator said on Thursday that the well would be drilled to investigate a prospect named Intrepid Eagle, some 172 kilometers southeast of Bjørnøya.

Drilling is scheduled to begin in mid-August 2018. It is estimated to last for 28 days, depending on whether a discovery is made.

The well will be drilled by the West Hercules semi-submersible drilling rig of the GVA 7500 type, operated by North Atlantic Drilling. It was built in 2008 by South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME).

West Hercules was issued with an Acknowledgement of Compliance (AoC) by the PSA in December 2012.

In recent company news, Norway’s Ministry of Petroleum and Energy offered Equinor seven licences in the 24th licensing round – five operatorships and two partner positions. The Norwegian government offered 12 new production licenses in total to 11 companies on Monday, June 18.