The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy has offered Equinor 7 licences in the 24th licensing round – 5 operatorships and 2 partner positions.
“We have a clear ambition of maintaining profitable production at today’s level on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) until 2030 and beyond. It is therefore crucial that we are awarded new exploration acreage beyond already opened areas. We are pleased with the offer we have received today,” says Arne Sigve Nylund, Equinor’s executive vice president for Development and Production Norway.
The award includes a commitment well in the southwestern part of the Barents Sea. Equinor has also been offered an interesting licence in deep waters in a frontier part of the Vøring Basin in the Norwegian Sea.
“This award is in line with Equinor’s exploration strategy, securing us access at scale. Exploration on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) is becoming ever more challenging. It is important to Norway and the companies to map remaining commercial resources both in the Norwegian Sea and the Barents Sea. We see the need for testing new exploration models and that is what we aim for in these licences. Proving alternative exploration models is the best way of fully mapping the NCS resources,” says Nicholas Ashton, head of exploration on the NCS.
“We have built on our 40-year history in North Norway and our long exploration experience from the Barents Sea. We therefore want to clarify the potential in the western margin of the Barents Sea and in the Hoop area around Wisting. A Equinor team has worked for a long time on preparing this application, and I am very proud of everyone who has coopered across Equinor to secure the award we received today,” says Ashton.
In contrast to the awards of the 23rd licensing round, the majority of these awards are less mature and therefore require more work before the drilling candidates are ready. Consequently, Equinor will gather and interpret data before the licences are presented to the partners who will decide on any drilling of exploration wells.
“Our drilling campaign in 2017, and the cooperation we have seen in the industry through Barents Sea Exploration Collaboration (BaSEC) prove that we can drill safely and in a commercially competitive way in these areas,» indicates Ashton.
“This as a great opportunity for us. We firmly believe that if we find a sufficient amount of resources we will be able to develop them in a profitable and sustainable manner,” concludes Nicholas Ashton.