Photo: West Hercules; Source: Seadrill

Equinor drills duster in Barents Sea

Norwegian oil major Equinor has failed to find hydrocarbons after drilling a wildcat well in the Barents Sea offshore Norway.

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) said on Friday that the well in question was 7018/5-1, located in production license 960, drilled some 100 kilometres southwest of the Snøhvit field, and about 195 kilometres west of Hammerfest.

The primary exploration target for the well was to prove petroleum in reservoir rocks from the Early Jurassic to Middle Jurassic Age – the Stø and Nordmela Formations.

The secondary exploration target was to prove petroleum in reservoir rocks from the Late Triassic to Early Jurassic Age – the Tubåen Formation.

Equinor encountered two water-bearing sandstone intervals in the Stø Formation with a total thickness of 180 metres, with good reservoir properties. The well did not reach the bottom of the lowest sandstone interval in the Stø Formation, nor the Nordmela and Tubåen Formations.

The well was drilled to a vertical depth of 1,099 metres below sea level and was terminated in the Stø Formation from the Middle Jurassic Age.

Weak traces of petroleum were observed in the sandstones in the Stø Formation. Equinor classified the well as dry. The well will now be permanently plugged and abandoned. This is the first exploration well in production license 960 which was awarded in the 24th licensing round in 2018.

Well 7018/5-1 was drilled by the West Hercules drilling facility, which will now drill a pilot well on the Askeladden field in production license 064 in the Barents Sea, where Equinor is the operator.

It is worth reminding that the drilling permit for the well was awarded to Equinor in late October. At the time, the NPD stated that well would be drilled after the West Hercules rig finishes the drilling the 6407/1-8 S wildcat in production licence 263D.

As for the 6407/1-8 S well, Equinor classified it as a minor gas discovery. It is located near the Maria field in the Norwegian Sea.

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