Equinor gearing up to drill Norwegian Sea prospect

Equinor gearing up to drill Norwegian Sea prospect

Norwegian state-owned energy giant Equinor has received consent from Norway’s offshore safety regulator for exploration drilling in the Norwegian Sea, using one of Odfjell Drilling’s rigs.

Deepsea Stavanger rig; Source: Odfjell Drilling

The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) revealed this week that it had given Equinor consent for exploration drilling in block 6406/5 in the Norwegian Sea. The prospect, Tott West, is located in production licence 255 B, which was awarded on 19 May 2016 and is valid until 12 May 2038.

Equinor holds an ownership interest of 35 per cent and acts as the licence operator, while its partners are TotalEnergies EP Norge (35 per cent) and Petoro (30 per cent).

The water depth at the location is around 304 metres and the drilling operations at the well 6406/5-2 S are expected to take 81 days, however, this would be extended by additional 22 days in case a hydrocarbon discovery is made.

The well will be spudded with the Deepsea Stavanger rig, which received an Acknowledgement of Compliance (AoC) from the PSA in April 2017. This rig has been working for Equinor on the NCS since February 2022, thanks to a deal awarded in May 2021 for a firm period of three wells.

The Norwegian player added additional wells to the contract for this rig in September 2021March 2022May 2022, at the start and end of July 2022 and in late September 2022. These wells are expected to keep the rig booked into the fourth quarter of 2023.

The 2010-built Deepsea Stavanger rig is a sixth-generation deepwater and harsh environment semi-submersible of an enhanced GVA 7500 design. Designed for operations at water depths of up to 3,000 metres, the rig has a 7,500 mt loading capacity.