Photo: Deepsea Stavanger rig; Source: Odfjell Drilling

Equinor’s Norwegian Sea wildcat comes up empty

Norwegian state-owned energy giant Equinor has completed the drilling of a wildcat well in the Norwegian Sea but failed to find hydrocarbons.

Back in August 2022, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) gave Equinor consent for exploration drilling in block 6507/8 in the Norwegian Sea. This came only days after Equinor was granted a drilling permit for the well 6507/8-11 S by the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD).

The prospect, Othello North, is located in production licence 124, where Equinor is the operator of the licence with an ownership interest of 35 per cent, while other licensees are ConocoPhillips Skandinavia (27.91 per cent), Petoro (27.08 per cent) and Vår Energi (10 per cent). This is the ninth exploration well in this licence.

With the objective of proving petroleum in Lower Jurassic and Triassic reservoir rocks in the Åre Formation and Grey Beds, the well 6507/8-11 S was drilled about 17 kilometres north of the Heidrun field in the Norwegian Sea and 240 kilometres west of Sandnessjøen.

In an update on Tuesday, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate disclosed that reservoir rocks were encountered in the Åre Formation and in Grey Beds, of which there were sandstone layers totalling 206 meters with good reservoir quality. The well 6507/8-11 S was drilled to a vertical depth of 2,492 metres below sea level and was terminated in the Red Beds from the Triassic.

Furthermore, the water depth at the site is 290 metres. While weak traces of petroleum were encountered, the well is classified as dry and extensive data acquisition and sampling have been conducted. As a result, the well has been permanently plugged and abandoned.

This well was drilled by the Deepsea Stavanger drilling rig, which will now drill the wildcat well 6605/1-2 S in production licence 1128 in the Norwegian Sea, where Equinor also acts as the operator.