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    Equinor encounters gas in Barents Sea


Halten East contains an estimated 100mn barrels of oil equivalent in reserves.

by: Callum Cyrus

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Complimentary, NGW News Alert, Corporate, Exploration & Production, News By Country, Norway

Equinor encounters gas in Barents Sea

Equinor has unveiled an NOK9bn ($936mn) investment in the Halten East cluster, home to six gas and condensate discoveries. Equinor operates the area with backing from Var Energi, Spirit Energy and Petoro. 

Halten East previously comprised four separate licences operated by the current partners, which decided to merge their acreage to make development more economical. An initial six wells will be drilled from 2024 to 2025, with production from the first two wells due by the end of 2025. The licence holders are also considering a second development phase, which could start as soon as 2029.

The Halten East project contains an estimated 100mn barrels of oil equivalent in reserves, 60% of which could be piped via the Karsto distribution system into European export markets.  

"Halten East is a subsea development consisting of five subsea templates that will be tied back to the existing infrastructure on the Asgard field, ensuring good resource exploitation and high value creation, low development costs, and low CO2 emissions," said Randi Elisabet Hugdahl, vice president, Asgard operations, on May 25.

Equinor also said it has uncovered an estimated 19-62mn barrels of oil reserves in the Norwegian Sea, following the completion of exploration well 6407/1-9.

The well lies in Equinor-operated production licence 630. Equinor operates the licence in partnership with PGNiG and Longboat Energy.

"Our ambition is to transform the shelf from an oil and gas province to a broad energy province that will ensure value creation from the shelf in the decades to come," said Kristin Westvik, an area director for Equinor's northern E&P region. "In this ambition, our exploration activities are central."

The discovery is Equinor's sixth on the Norwegian shelf so far this year. It will be evaluated for further appraisal, and could be tied back to existing fields in the area. The drilling rig West Hercules completed the well, and will now move to kick off operations at the Equinor-operated exploration probe 35/10-7 S.