Statoil Petroleum AS has received consent for exploration drilling using the Transocean Spitsbergen rig on another well in the Barents Sea.
The Norwegian oil giant will use the semi-submersible drilling rig to drill the Atlantis well (7325/1) in production licence 615, following the completion of the Apollo well in the block.
The well lies in the Barents Sea, around 300 km from the nearest mainland at Knivskjellodden in Nordkapp municipality. Water depth at the site is approximately 447 metres.
Drilling is planned to begin in June 2014, with a duration of around 44 days, depending on whether a discovery is made.
Transocean Spitsbergen is a semi-submersible drilling rig of the Aker H-6e type.
Drilling in the Hoop area has spurred protests by Greenpeace who claim that an oil spill there could harm the nearby Bear Island. Protesting against Statoil’s drilling in the licence, on the morning of 27 May Greenpeace activists boarded the drilling rig Transocean Spitsbergen. They were later removed from the rig by police.
Statoil plans to drill three wells in the Hoop area this summer, on the Apollo, Atlantis and Mercury prospects.