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    Norway Clears New Exploration Wells


The wells will be drilled by Austria's OMV, the UK's Neptune Energy and Norway's Equinor.

by: Joseph Murphy

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Natural Gas & LNG News, Europe, Premium, Corporate, Exploration & Production, Companies, Europe, Equinor, OMV

Norway Clears New Exploration Wells

Norwegian authorities have approved the drilling of new exploration wells off the country's coast.

Austria's OMV has been given the all clear by Norway's Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) to drill an exploration well and a sidetrack at the Hades gas discovery within production licence 644 in the Norwegian Sea, the agency said on May 11. The probes will be completed by the Island Innovator semi-submersible within 99 and 23 days respectively.

The PSA did not say when drilling would start, although OMV estimated the start date at June 1 at the earliest in the environmental permit it filed in February. OMV made the Hades and adjacent Iris gas and condensate discoveries in 2018. They are estimated to hold somewhere between 19-113mn barrels of oil equivalent (boe) and 25-75mn boe respectively. The operator is looking to develop the fields using nearby infrastructure controlled by Equinor.

The PSA also gave the UK's Neptune Energy consent on May 6 to sink an exploration probe and sidetrack at production licence 882 in the North Sea, using the Deepsea Yantai semi-submersible. The drilling time is estimated at between 44 and 90 days.

Meanwhile, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) said on May 11 it had granted Equinor approval to drill a wildcat well at production licence 827 S, using the West Hercules semi-submersible. Norway's fiscal regime encourages drilling wells.