Lundin Gets Approval for North Sea Wildcat


October 26, 2020
West Bollsta semi-submersible drilling rig - Credit: Daniel Seljebø/Lundin Energy Norway

West Bollsta semi-submersible drilling rig - Credit: Daniel Seljebø/Lundin Energy Norway

Swedish oil firm Lundin Energy has won permission to drill an exploration well in the North Sea, using the West Bollsta semi-submersible drilling rig.

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, which on Monday said it had issued a drilling permit to Lundin Energy Norway for the North Sea well 16/4-12, said the drilling would start following the completion of the rig's current program in the Barents Sea.

To remind, the Seadrill-managed rig on October 10 started drilling at the Polmak well in the Barents sea, however, a few days later, an incident happened aboard the West Bollsta rig stopping the drilling operations. 

Namely, a little over a week ago, during a lifting operation, a 26,5t pipe dropped on the rig's drill floor. Following the incident, Lundin Energy then told Offshore Engineer the drilling won't resume until the root cause of the incident is identified.

This now means that the exact start-up date for the North Sea well 16/4-12 in production license 981 - known as the Merckx prospect -  is not clear.

According to Lundin Energy's presentation released earlier this year, the Merckx gross unrisked resources were estimated at around 152 MMboe. 

Lundin Energy Norway AS is the operator with an ownership interest of 60 percent. The other licensee is Aker BP ASA (40 percent).

The area in this license consists of the northern part of block 16/4. The well will be drilled about 1 kilometer west of the 16/4-6 S Solveig oil discovery.

Production license 981 was awarded on March 1, 2019 (APA2018). This is the first exploration well to be drilled in this license.   

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