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New oil discovery close to Barents Sea Johan Castberg field

The Transocean Enabler drilling rig
The Transocean Enabler drilling rig.
(Photo: Jan Arne Wold / Woldcam - Equinor ASA)

Equinor has made a new oil discovery in Snøfonn Nord, exploration well 7220/8-2 S, by the Johan Castberg field in the Barents Sea.

The well was drilled five kilometres south-southeast of discovery well 7220/8-1, which is in the Johan Castberg field, and 210 kilometres northwest of Hammerfest.

Equinor is the operator of production licence (PL) 532. Preliminary calculations of the size of the discovery indicate between 37 and 50 million barrels of recoverable oil. Together with the other licensees, Vår Energi and Petoro, Equinor will consider tying the discovery to the Johan Castberg field.

Kristin Westvik - portrait
Kristin Westvik, Equinor’s senior vice president for exploration and production north.

“Snøfonn Nord is an exciting discovery in the vicinity of the Johan Castberg development and can add valuable volumes to the installation in the future,” says Kristin Westvik, Equinor’s senior vice president for exploration and production north.

“In cooperation with the licence partners we will consider a possible development.”

The Snøfonn Nord discovery was made exactly one year after the Isflak discovery in the same area, but is probably somewhat bigger.

Drilling of the well was carried out by the Transocean Enabler rig and is now completed. Transocean Enabler will move 800 metres further west in PL 532 to drill a new exploration well.

Snøfonn Nord is the 10th discovery in the Castberg licence and the 12th exploration well to be drilled in PL 532.

The production licence was awarded in the 20th licencing round in 2009.

Map of the discovery

Facts about Johan Castberg

  • The Johan Castberg field is located in the Barents Sea, approx. 100 kilometres north of the Snøhvit field and 240 kilometres from Melkøya.
  • The water depth is 360-390 metres.
  • Johan Castberg consists of the Skrugard, Havis and Drivis discoveries.
  • Estimated recoverable volumes are between 450 and 650 million barrels of oil equivalent.
  • The Johan Castberg production vessel and subsea facility have been designed for producing 190 000 barrels per day and for a life of 30 years.
  • The field development comprises a floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel and an extensive subsea development with a total of 30 wells distributed on 10 templates and 2 satellite structures.
  • Johan Castberg will have a supply and helicopter base in Hammerfest and an operations organisation in Harstad.
  • The Johan Castberg FPSO arrived in Norway on 8 April. It is currently anchored at Aker Solutions’ quay on Stord, where the turret and process modules will be installed during the spring and summer. Then they will be connected, and everything will be commissioned and tested.

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