Equinor picks up permit for Barents Sea appraisal well

Norwegian oil major Equinor has been given a drilling permit to drill a new appraisal well in the Barents Sea, offshore Norway.

Deepsea Nordkapp; Source: Odfjell Drilling

Under the permit, given to Equinor by the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD), the well will be drilled in production license 722 using Odfjell Drilling’s Deepsea Nordkapp semi-submersible drilling rig.

The drilling programme for well 7322/6-1 S relates to drilling an appraisal well in the license. Equinor is the operator with an ownership interest of 45 per cent and other licensees are Aker BP, Lundin, and Sval Energi with 20, 20, and 15 per cent stakes, respectively.

The area in this licence consists of parts of blocks 7322/6 and 7323/4. The well will be drilled about 350 kilometres north of Hammerfest and 50 kilometres west of the Hansen and Wisting discovery wells.

Production licence 722 was awarded on 21 June 2013 in the 22nd licensing round. According to the NPD, this is the first exploration well to be drilled in the licence.

As for the rig, Odfjell Drilling bought the Deepsea Nordkapp drilling rig, former Stena Midmax, from Samsung Heavy and won a contract for it from Aker BP back in April 2018.

Odfjell Drilling was awarded a two-year firm drilling contract for the rig with 1+1 year optional periods.

Last week, Aker BP exercised the second 12-month option for the rig under a contract entered into between the parties in April 2018. The second 12-month option will start after the expiry of the first optional period in June 2022.