West Hercules rig - Equinor

Equinor spuds Egyptian Vulture exploration well

Norwegian oil and gas giant Equinor has started drilling operations on the Egyptian Vulture exploration well located offshore Norway.

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

The update was shared by Longboat Energy, an emerging full-cycle North Sea E&P company established by the former management team of Faroe Petroleum. Longboat is Equinor’s partner in the licence with a 15 per cent non-operated interest.

The drilling of the Egyptian Vulture prospect is being undertaken by the West Hercules semi-submersible drilling rig. The well is targeting gross mean prospective resources of 103 mmboe with further potential upside to bring the total to 208 mmboe on a gross basis. The chance of success associated with this prospect is 25 per cent with the key risk being related to reservoir quality and thickness.

The well is expected to take up to seven weeks to drill with an estimated pre-carry net cost to Longboat of c.$5 million (c.$1.1 million post tax).

Helge Hammer, Chief Executive of Longboat, commented: “I am pleased that we have now commenced drilling operations on our second exploration well in our short term three well programme following the commencement of the Rødhette well last week”.

To remind, Longboat has recently gained access to a drilling program of seven exploration wells in Norway through agreements with three separate companies. Last week, Vår Energi started drilling the Rødhette exploration well off Norway, the first in a series of seven wells where Longboat Energy will participate as a non-operator.

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Hammer continued: “It is no overstatement to say that the next few weeks will be an extremely busy and exciting time for Longboat with each of these wells having the potential to create significant shareholder value”.

“The exploration programme over the next 18 months offers shareholders a unique opportunity to gain exposure to a drilling portfolio of seven wells targeting net mean prospective resource potential of 104MMboe with an additional 220 MMboe of upside which provides the potential to create a Net Asset Value of over $1 billion based on precedent transactions in the Norwegian North Sea for development assets”.

In addition to Vår Energi’s Rødhette, Equinor’s Egyptian Vulture, this year will also see the start of drilling operations on Aker BP’s Mugnetind prospect. Furthermore, Equinor scheduled the drilling of the dual-target Ginny and Hermine prospects for December 2021, using the West Hercules semi-submersible drilling rig.