Norwegian oil and gas company Equinor Energy has secured drilling permit for an exploration well 7018/5-1 in the Norwegian North Sea from the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD).

The well 7018/5-1 will be drilled in production licence 960 area and will be drilled approximately 100km southwest of the Snøhvit field in the southern Barents Sea, off Norway.

Under the drilling programme, Equinor Energy will drill a wildcat well in production licence 960 and will be carried out by the West Hercules drilling facility.

The West Hercules drilling rig is currently drilling the wildcat well 6407/1-8 S for the Norwegian company in the Apollonia prospect in production licence 263 D in the Norwegian Sea.

Upon completion of the work, the drilling rig will be mobilised to the Barents Sea for the work on well 7018/5-1.

Equinor Energy holds 40% stake and operator of production licence 960

The Norwegian oil and gas company, with an ownership stake of 40%, is the operator of the production licence 960 and the other partners include Petoro (20%), Lundin Energy Norway (20%) and Wintershall Dea Norge (20%).

The licence was awarded on 22 June 2018 and the well is said to be the first exploration well to be drilled in the licence.

The company said that the drilling permit depends on securing all other permits and consents required from other authorities before starting the drilling activity.

Last month, the NPD has issued a drilling permit to Equinor Energy to drill wellbore well 34/7-37 S in Norwegian North Sea.

The well 34/7-37 S will be drilled in the production licence 089 and is located east of the Statfjord field, directly west of the discovery 34/7-21 Borg.

The drilling work on the well will be carried out by the Deepsea Atlantic drilling facility.