Equinor Makes Oil Discovery Near Johan Castberg Field in Barents Sea

The Well 7220/8-2 S was drilled by the Transocean Enabler drilling facility. Photo: Transocean (via NPD)
The Well 7220/8-2 S was drilled by the Transocean Enabler drilling facility. Photo: Transocean (via NPD)

Norwegian oil and gas company Equinor has made an oil discovery at the Snøfonn Nord exploration well in the Johan Castberg area in the Barents Sea, off Norway.

According to Vår Energi, Equinor's partner in the license, the exploration well, in PL 532, proved successful, with the latest preliminary estimates showing volumes between 30-50 million barrels of recoverable oil.

The well was drilled about 5 kilometers south-southeast of the discovery well 7220/8-1 on the Johan Castberg field in the Barents Sea and 210 kilometers northwest of Hammerfest.

The partners will assess the discovery with a view toward a possible tie-in to the Johan Castberg field. This is the 12th exploration well in production license 532. This license was awarded in the 20th licensing round in 2009.

The well, formally named Well 7220/8-2 S, was drilled using the Transocean Enabler semi-submersible drilling rig, to a vertical depth of 1269 meters below sea level in a water depth of 350 metres. The well has now been permanently plugged and abandoned.

The Transocean Enabler will now be moving 800 meters further west in production licence 532 to drill wildcat well 7220/8-3.

Torger Rød, Vår Energi CEO, said: "With the Snøfonn discovery, Vår Energi celebrates its first exploration success of 2022. This confirms our strategic approach to exploration in the Barents Sea, strengthening the value creation in the region. The discovery adds valuable volumes to our resource base, supporting our long-term growth targets. Together with the partners, we will assess and mature the discovery for a tie back to Johan Castberg."

“We are pleased with the result, which strengthens Vår Energi’s position around one of our key hubs, confirming the company’s strategy and commitment to exploration in the Barents Sea”.

Vår Energi ASA holds a 30% stake of the license, with Equinor (Operator; 50%) and Petoro (20%) making up the rest of the JV.

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