Photo: West Hercules; Source: Equinor

Equinor set to drill Norwegian Sea wildcat

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

Under the permit, given to Equinor by the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD), the well will be drilled in production license 939 using Seadrill’s West Hercules drilling rig.

Equinor is the operator with an ownership interest of 70 per cent. The partner in the license is PGNiG Norway which holds the remaining 30 per cent in the license. The drilling programme for the well designated 6407/1-9 relates to the drilling of a wildcat well.

The area in this licence consists of parts of blocks 6406/3 and 6407/1. The well will be drilled about two kilometres northeast of the 6407/1-5 S Maria appraisal well and about seven kilometres northwest of 6407/1-6 S Rodriguez.

Production licence 939 was awarded on 2 March 2018 (APA 2017). This is the first exploration well to be drilled in the licence.

As for the rig, 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.

Just last week, Equinor has been granted a permit for well 6507/3-14, which will also be drilled from the West Hercules.

Equinor is the operator with an ownership interest of 53 per cent. The other licensees are DNO Norge (32 per cent) and INEOS E&P Norge (15 per cent). The area in this licence consists of parts of block 6507/3. The well will be drilled about 15 kilometres west of the Norne field.

Production licence 159 B was awarded on 13 August 2004. This is the fifth exploration well to be drilled in the licence.