Wintershall Dea cleared to use West Hercules rig in Norwegian Sea

Oil and gas company Wintershall Dea has received consent from the Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) for exploration drilling in block 66/11 in the Norwegian Sea, using the West Hercules rig.

The West Hercules drilling rig in the Barents Sea. (Photo: Equinor/Ole Jørgen Bratland)

The well 6611/1-1 belongs to production license 896, for which Wintershall Dea is the operator. The well has been given the prospect name of Toutatis.

The drilling site is in the northern Norwegian Sea, around 110 kilometers northwest of Sandnessjøen, 160 kilometers southwest of Bodø and 150 kilometers northeast of the Norne field. Water depth at the site is 357 meters.

Drilling is scheduled to begin in September/October 2019 and is expected to last 29 days.

The well will be drilled by the West Hercules drilling rig, which is owned and operated by Seadrill.

West Hercules is the 6th generation semi-submersible drilling rig built in South Korea in 2008. It was issued with an Acknowledgement of Compliance (AoC) by the PSA in 2012.

Earlier this month, Equinor also received consent from the PSA for exploration drilling in the North Sea using the West Hercules rig. This well is scheduled for late August 2019.

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