Norwegian oil giant Statoil will drill another well in the Barents sea, offshore Norway, following an unsuccessful three-well drilling campaign in the Hoop area.
The company has now received approval to use Transocean Spitsbergen semi- submersible to drill the 7319/12-1 well, informally Pingvin, in production licence 713.
The well is located in the Barents Sea, around 296 km from Hammerfest. Water depth at the site is approximately 422 metres.
Drilling is planned to begin in August 2014, with a duration of around 28 days, depending on whether a discovery is made.
However, in its decision to grant permission under the Pollution Act, the Norwegian Environment Agency has determined that Statoil may not drill in oil-bearing strata before 5 September 2014.
This condition has been set to allow for appeals before the riskiest part of the operation gets under way.
To remind, Statoil’s three wells drilled this summer in the Hoop Area, namely Apollo, Atlantis and Mercury, did not result in commercial discoveries.
In Apollo a good reservoir was proved in the well, but no hydrocarbons. Atlantis and Mercury resulted in two small gas discoveries.
The Hoop drilling campaign was slammed by Greenpeace, which said Statoil’s exploratory works in the area were a threat to the Arctic nature and the world’s climate.
On the morning of May 27 Greenpeace activists boarded the Transocean Spitsbergen rig, whichwas en route to the Hoop area in the Barents Sea. The activists were later removed from the rig by police.