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Equinor and partners Vår Energi and Petoro have struck oil in exploration well 7220/7-4 in production licence 532 in the Barents Sea. Recoverable resources are so far estimated at between 5 and 8 million standard cubic metres of recoverable oil, corresponding to 31 – 50 million barrels of recoverable oil.

“Succeeding in the Barents Sea requires perseverance and a long-term perspective. This discovery strengthens our belief in the opportunities that exist, not least around the Castberg, Wisting, Snøhvit and Goliat areas,” says Nick Ashton, Equinor’s senior vice president for exploration in Norway.

The well was drilled about 10 kilometres southwest from the well 7220/8-1 on the Johan Castberg field, and 210 kilometres northwest of Hammerfest.

Equinor has been active in the Barents Sea since it was opened more than forty years ago. Exploration well 7220/7-4 is the first of four planned exploration wells for Equinor in the Barents Sea this year (as operator or partner).

“Equinor has been developing strong specialist communities for exploration, development and operations in Harstad and Hammerfest over many years. The follow-up of this discovery may strengthen this work,” says Ashton.

Nick Ashton, Equinor’s senior vice president for exploration in Norway. (Photo: Ole Jørgen Bratland)

The well struck 109 metres of oil in the Stø and Nordmela formations. The top reservoir was encountered at a vertical depth of 1788 metres below sea level. The expected gas cap was not encountered in the well.

The well was not formation tested, but extensive data acquisition and sampling took place.

Further development of the discovery towards the planned infrastructure for the Johan Castberg field will be considered at a later stage. The proven resources may thus generate important additional value and tax revenues for society from the Johan Castberg field.

This is the eleventh exploration well in production licence 532. The licence was awarded in the 20th licensing round in 2009.

The well was drilled to a vertical depth of 2080 metres below sea level and completed in the Tubåen formation from the Early Jurassic period in 351 metres of water. The well has now been permanently plugged and abandoned.

Well 7220/7-4 was drilled by the Transocean Enabler drilling rig, which will now return to and continue drilling on the Equinor-operated Johan Castberg field.

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