Equinor granted consent for exploration well in North Sea, but denied sidetrack

Equinor has received consent from the Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) for exploration drilling in block 35/11 in the North Sea, using the Deepsea Atlantic rig. However, the oil company has not been given consent for a sidetrack well. 

The Deepsea Atlantic drilling rig. Photo: Odfjell Drilling

The well 35/11-23 belongs to production license 090 where Equinor is the operator. The well has been given the prospect name Echino Sør.

Equinor also applied for consent to drill a possible sidetrack from the well, but the PSA has not granted its consent for this.

In this respect, the agency referred to the decision of the Norwegian Environment Agency of August 2019 in which they refused Equinor’s application for permission to drill a sidetrack from well 35/11-23.

The site of the well is around 20 kilometers north of the Troll field in the central North Sea. Water depth at the site is 352 meters.

Drilling is scheduled to begin in September, and is expected to last 39 days if a discovery is made.

The well will be drilled using the Deepsea Atlantic drilling rig, which is owned and operated by Odfjell Drilling.

Deepsea Atlantic is a semi-submersible drilling rig of the MODU GVA 7500 type. It was built at the DSME shipyard in South Korea and was completed in 2009.

Deepsea Atlantic was issued with an Acknowledgement of Compliance (AoC) by the PSA in July 2009.

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