Photo: West Hercules rig; Credit: Ole Jørgen Bratland/Equinor

Equinor gets go-ahead to drill North Sea well duo

Norwegian offshore safety agency, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA), has given Equinor consent to drill two exploration wells offshore Norway, using the West Hercules rig.

The wells named 30/11-U-1 and 30/11-U-2 are located in Production licence 035 and 272 in the North Sea.

The licences are operated by Equinor with Aker BP as a partner.

The wells will be drilled on the Krafla field and Askja field where the water depths are 105 meters and 107 meters, respectively.

According to the safety authority, the main purpose of the drilling is to investigate whether there is shallow gas in the area where it is planned to install unmanned wellhead facilities, in connection with the development of Krafla and Askja fields.

Both wells will be drilled using the West Hercules drilling rig.

The West Hercules is a 6th-generation semi-submersible drilling rig built in 2008 at Daewoo Shipyard, South Korea. The facility received an Acknowledgement of Compliance (AoC) from the PSA in 2012.

When it comes to Equinor’s recent exploration activities, the Norwegian giant this week revealed it had made an oil discovery near the Johan Castberg field, located in the Barents Sea offshore Norway.

The wildcat well 7220/7-4 was drilled about 10 kilometres southwest of the 7220/8-1 discovery well on the Johan Castberg field in the Barents Sea and 210 kilometres northwest of Hammerfest.