The Norwegian energy company will start the new year with drilling of two wells in the Barents Sea, only few kilometers from Russia.
The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate has granted the necessary drill permits for two wells located on 71 degrees North, about 170 km north of the Norwegian mainland.
The area has got the name «Gjøkåsen Deep» and is part of license 857 granted to Equinor and partners Aker BP, Lundin Norway and Petoro in 2016.
Water depths in the area are about 300 meters. The well will be drilled by «West Hercules», a semisubmersible rig that currently is in operation near the Goliat oil field in the western Barents Sea.
The «Gjøkåsen Deep» is one of the easternmost license areas on the Norwegian continental shelf. The maritime border to Russia is only about 50 km away.
It is one of several license areas located near the Russian border.
Equinor in August 2017 drilled a wildcat well located on 74 degrees north, only about 35 km from the border. Results however showed only a minor gas discovery not profitable for development.
AkerBP is operator of license 858, which is located directly along the border line, adjacent to Rosneft’s huge Fedynsky license area.
In a seminar in Kirkenes, Norway, AkerBP representative Terje Solheim confirmed that his company plans to drill a well in the area in June 2019. The area, that has got the name Stangnestind is located about 300 km north of the Varanger Peninsula. Among the partners in the drilling is Russian company Lukoil.
Related stories from around the North:
Finland: Finland’s first silver mine to start production next year, Yle News
Norway: Equinor strikes oil near Johan Castberg field in Norwegian Arctic, The Independent Barents Observer
Russia: Fossil fuels drive shipping boom along Northern Sea Route, The Independent Barents Observer
Sweden: Sweden reluctantly greenlights construction of Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, Radio Sweden
United States: US Gov preparing for oil exploration in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska Public Media