Norway: Equinor, Partners to Relinquish Offshore Block Containing Oil Find. Longboat to Reapply for the Acreage

The West Hercules drilling rig was used to drill the discovery well. (Photo: Ole Jørgen Bratland/Equinor)
The West Hercules drilling rig was used to drill the discovery well. (Photo: Ole Jørgen Bratland/Equinor)

Oil and gas companies Equinor, PGNiG, and Longboat Energy have relinquished the license in Norway containing the Egyptian Vulture offshore oil discovery, but Longboat plans to re-apply for the acreage as it believes the discovery has high potential.

Equinor was the operator of the block PL 939 offshore license in which it made the Egyptian Vulture oil discovery in October 2021, close to offshore infrastructure on the Halten Terrace in the Norwegian Sea. 

"The discovery is visible on seismic as a large amplitude anomaly and intensive technical studies have been undertaken to de-risk the discovery with particular focus on seismic interpretation and distribution of areas with good reservoir. As part of this work, ERCE provided an independent assessment of the discovery in a Competent Person Report commissioned by Longboat, which has confirmed the 1C-3C size of the discovery at gross 4-68 mmboe," Longboat said Friday.

"For an appraisal well on Egyptian Vulture to be successful, it would need to encounter better reservoir quality than that penetrated by the discovery well.  The Joint Venture participants, following extensive technical work, have been unable to form an aligned view regarding an appraisal well and will not be committing to a license extension as required on March 2, 2023. Therefore the license is being relinquished," the company said.

However, Longboat said it was looking to form a new group to take the asset forward and rather than take over the existing license, which would involve escalating license fees, will seek to re-apply for the acreage in the forthcoming license round with awards due in January 2024.

Helge Hammer, Chief Executive of Longboat, said, "The Egyptian Vulture discovery has significant upside and needs an aligned partnership to be efficiently appraised and progressed to a potential development project. We look forward to creating a new group to take this high-potential asset forward." 

Equinor was the operator of the offshore license with a 55 percent stake. PGNiG held 30 percent, and Longboat held 15 percent.


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