Equinor gains consent to use West Hercules rig for Barents Sea well

Norwegian oil major Equinor has received consent from the offshore safety body, the Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA), for exploration drilling in the Barents Sea using the West Hercules drilling rig.

West Hercules in the Barents Sea; Source: Equinor; Photo by: Ole Jørgen Bratland

The well, named 7132/2-2, is located in production license 857 in the Barents Sea where Equinor is the operator. Equinor holds 40 percent ownership interest while the remaining interest is owned by Aker BP, Lundin, and Petoro with a 20 percent stake each.

The offshore safety body said that the drilling program planned to investigate a prospect named Gjøkåsen Deep in a water depth of 304 meters.

The well will be drilled by the West Hercules a semi-submersible drilling rig. The rig is of a GVA 7500 type operated by North Atlantic Drilling.

It was issued with an Acknowledgement of Compliance (AoC) by the PSA in December 2012.

Earlier this month, Equinor was given a drilling permit by the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate to drill the 7132/2-1 well in the same license, for which the West Hercules received consent in July.

The well was originally scheduled for August and would be the first well drilled in the license.

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