West Hercules rig - Equinor

Equinor set to drill North Sea well duo

Norwegian oil and gas major Equinor is ready to drill two wells in the North Sea offshore Norway following the receipt of approvals and permits from the Norwegian authorities.

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

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) said on Thursday it has granted Equinor a drilling permit for wells 31/1-2 S and 31/1-2 A, located in the North Sea.

According to the NPD, wells 31/1-2 S and 31/1-2 A will be drilled from the West Hercules semi-submersible drilling rig after concluding the drilling of wildcat well 7018/5-1, also for Equinor in production licence 960.

Equinor has also recently been granted a drilling permit for the wildcat well 7018/5-1, which is located in the Barents Sea off Norway. The well will be drilled about 100 kilometres southwest of the Snøhvit field.

The drilling programme for wells 31/1-2 S and 31/1-2 A relates to the drilling of wildcat well 31/1-2 S and appraisal well 31/1-2 A in production licence 923. The prospect was named Røver Nord.

Equinor is the operator of the licence with an ownership interest of 40 per cent and other licensees are Petoro (20 per cent), Wellesley Petroleum (20 per cent), and DNO Norge (20 per cent).

The acreage in this licence consists of parts of blocks 31/1 and 31/2. The wells will be drilled about 18 kilometres southwest of the Fram field. The water depth at the site is 349 meters.

Production licence 923 was awarded in APA 2017 and these are the first two exploration wells to be drilled in the licence.

Equinor has already received a safety consent from the Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) to use the West Hercules rig for these two wells.

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According to information provided by the PSA, the exploration well will last for 42 days with the possibility to drill a sidetrack with a timeframe of 23 days.