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    Lundin Sinks Dry Hole in Barents Sea


Five dry wells have been drilled in the frontier region in the last year, with no discoveries.

by: Joe Murphy

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Natural Gas & LNG News, Corporate, Exploration & Production, News By Country, Norway

Lundin Sinks Dry Hole in Barents Sea

Sweden's Lundin Energy has drilled a dry well in the southern Barents Sea, the company reported on January 26, marking the latest in a string of exploration failures in the frontier, high-cost region.

The aim of the 7219/11-1 well was to prove hydrocarbons in Paleocene-aged sandstones at the Bask prospect in licence PL533B, 35 km northwest of Lundin's Alta discovery. "The targeted formation contained poorly-developed reservoir, and although traces of hydrocarbons were found, it is not considered commercial and the well is classed as dry," Lundin said.

Lundin operates PL533B with a 40%, while partners Aker BP and Wintershall Dea have 25%. The West Bollsta rig used to drill the well will go on to sink a borehole at the Lundin-operated PL359 in the North Sea.

The latest disappointment comes after Equinor came up dry at the Spissa prospect in the Barents Sea in December. A month earlier Lundin completed a dry well east of the Johan Castberg field. Equinor and the UK's Spirit Energy also drilled dusters in the region last summer.

Norway launched its latest frontier licensing round in November, offering blocks mostly in the Barents Sea. The deadline for bids is February 23, and Norwegian oil minister Tina Bru told parliament on January 21 that awards would be announced in the second quarter. In contrast, only three of the 61 licences awarded in Norway's latest Awards in Predefined Areas round, which focuses on acreage in well-developed areas, were in the Barents Sea.