Photo: West Bollsta rig; Source: Lundin

Green light to Lundin for North Sea well

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) has issued a drilling permit to Lundin Energy Norway for a well located in the North Sea offshore Norway.

The well 16/4-12 will be drilled from the West Bollsta drilling rig after it concludes the drilling of wildcat well 7221/4-1 for Lundin Energy Norway in production licence 609.

The drilling programme for well 16/4-12 relates to the drilling of a wildcat well in production licence 981.

Lundin Energy Norway is the operator with an ownership interest of 60 per cent and Aker BP is its partner with a 40 per cent interest.

The area in this licence consists of the northern part of block 16/4. The well will be drilled about 1 kilometre west of the 16/4-6 S Solveig oil discovery.

Production licence 981 was awarded on 1 March 2019 (APA2018). This is the first exploration well to be drilled in this licence.

It is worth reminding that Lundin started drilling the wildcat well 7221/4-1 – Polmak – using the West Bollsta rig on 10 October 2020. The well is located in the Barents Sea off Norway.

This is the rig’s first-ever well and the first of three high-impact exploration prospects to be drilled by the company in the Barents Sea until the end of 2020.

However, during these drilling operations, a serious safety incident occurred prompting an investigation by the Norwegian safety watchdog, the Petroleum Safety Authority.

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The incident happened on West Bollsta’s drill floor when a length of the riser was being lifted from a horizontal position to the vertical with the aid of hydraulic handling equipment.

Said to measure 22.9 metres long, the pipe weighs 26.5 tonnes. It had almost reached vertical when it became detached from the handling equipment, skidded and fell to the drill floor.

The West Bollsta semi-submersible drilling rig is capable of operating in harsh environment areas and ultra-deep waters of up to 10,000 feet.

The semi-sub was in early October given an Acknowledgement of Compliance (AoC) by the Petroleum Safety Authority.