The company has confirmed that several of the existing wells do not have the necessary barriers


Three new wells will be drilled at Martin Linge. (Credit: Equinor ASA)

Norwegian oil and gas company Equinor has announced plans to drill new wells in the Martin Linge field in North Sea, to ensure safe production.

The new wells have been planned, after the company confirmed that several of the existing wells do not have the necessary barriers.

Before taking over the operatorship of the field in March 2018, Equinor has carried out an in-depth analysis of the wells drilled at Martin Linge.

In the review, the company has identified well barrier deficiencies at four gas wells that were drilled at the field before 2018.

Petoro, which is only partner for Equinor in Martin Linge, has conducted an independent assessment of well barriers, supporting the operator’s view.

Equinor drilling, projects and technology acting EVP Geir Tungesvik said: “The wells are considered safe as they are now, but we will keep them plugged and under continuous monitoring until we have reduced the pressure in the formation by producing from other wells.

“Safety is always priority number one.”

New wells at Martin Linge to cost $220m

Equinor is planning to drilling up to three new wells at Martin Linge, with a total investment of NOK2bn ($220m).

Located 42km west of Oseberg, the field is located in 115m of water.

The company own a stake of 70% in the field, which is an oil and gas discovery made in 1978.

Petoro owns the remaining stake in the field, where the Maersk Intrepid drilling rig recently started the drilling operations.

Tungesvik said: “Our number one priority is to ensure safe start-up of the field.

“We will therefore plan to drill up to three new gas wells in addition to the two remaining wells from the plan for development and operation (PDO) for the field to produce as originally planned,”