Photo: Deepsea Yantai rig; Source: Neptune Energy

Neptune spuds North Sea prospect close to existing infrastructure

Oil and gas company Neptune Energy has started drilling the Hamlet exploration well located in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea.

The well (35/9-16S) is being drilled by the Deepsea Yantai, a semi-submersible rig owned by CIMC and operated by Odfjell Drilling. The Hamlet prospect is located 7 km north of the Gjøa field within the Neptune-operated PL153 Licence.

Neptune secured a drilling permit for the well from the Norwegian authorities earlier in February.

In the event of a commercial discovery, the Hamlet prospect could be tied back to the Neptune-operated Gjøa platform and produced with less than half the average CO2 emissions on the Norwegian Continental Shelf, Neptune said on Monday.

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Neptune Energy’s Director of Subsurface in Norway, Steinar Meland, said: “Hamlet is an interesting prospect and it is in keeping with our exploration strategy of focusing on opportunities within core areas near existing infrastructure. This can offer a short lead time from discovery to production, reduce costs and carbon emissions and help mature and replenish our current licenses.”

Located 58 kilometres west of Florø, Norway, at a water depth of 358 metres, Hamlet is positioned in one of Neptune’s core areas and close to existing infrastructure. The reservoir target is the Lower Cretaceous Agat Formation and is expected to be reached at a depth of approximately 2,600 metres.

The drilling program comprises a main-bore (35/9-16S) with an optional side-track (35/9-16A) based on the outcome of the exploration well.

Neptune Energy is the operator of the licence with 30 per cent interest and its partners are Petoro (30 per cent), Wintershall Dea (28 per cent), OKEA (12 per cent).