Equinor gains consent to use West Hercules rig for Korpfjell Deep 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, designated 7335/3-1 and named Korpfjell Deep, is located in production license 859 in the Barents Sea where Equinor is the operator.

Equinor holds a 30 percent ownership interest while the other licensees are DNO Norge and Petoro with 20 percent each, and ConocoPhillips and Lundin with 15 percent each.

The area in this license consists of blocks 7335/1, 7335/2, 7335/3, 7336/1, 7434/7, 7434/8, 7434/9, 7435/9, 7435/10, 7435/11, 7435/12, and 7436/10.

Production license 859 was awarded in the 23rd licensing round in 2016, and the first well in the license was the 7435/12-1 well named Korpfjell drilled in the summer of 2017.

The well is in the far north-east of an opened area in the south-east Barents Sea, around 420 kilometres off the coast of Finnmark in a water depth of 239 meters.

The safety body added that the drilling would begin in early May 2019 and was estimated to last 55 days.

According to the PSA, the well will be drilled by West Hercules, a semi-submersible drilling rig operated by Seadrill. The rig received an Acknowledgement of Compliance (AoC) from the PSA in 2012.

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