Photo: West Hercules; Source: Seadrill

Equinor, ConocoPhillips cleared to drill wells off Norway

Oil and gas firms Equinor and ConocoPhillips have been cleared to drill wells by Norway’s Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) in the North and Norwegian Sea, respectively.

Equinor received regulatory approval on Friday from the PSA to drill a sidetrack in an exploration well 35/11-24 in the North Sea, at the Swisher prospect.

The well will be drilled in a water depth of 356 meters. Equinor will use Seadrill’s 2008-built West Hercules semi-submersible drilling rig. The drilling is expected to take 63 days to complete.

The same rig was recently used on the successful Atlantis well. At the time of the discovery, Equinor said that the proven reserves were between 3 and 10 million standard cubic metres of recoverable oil equivalent, corresponding to 19-63 million barrels of oil equivalent.

In a separate announcement, PSA said it gave its consent to ConocoPhillips to drill an exploration well at the Slagugle prospect in the Norwegian Sea.

The oil company will drill the well, designated 6507/5-10 S, using Transocean’s Leiv Eiriksson semi-submersible drilling rig.

The well, located in the production license 891, will take 47 days to complete. It is located in a water depth of 354 meters.

The 2001-built Leiv Eiriksson rig is under a $235,000 per day contract with ConocoPhillips until November 2020.

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