Statoil is set to kick off drilling of the first appraisal well at its Skrugard find in the Barents Sea in January after getting the green light from Norway’s authorities.
The explorer will use the semi-submersible Aker Barents to drill the probe, 7220/5-1, in Statoil-operated Production Licence 532 once the rig has completed drilling of the Havis prospect in the same licence.
The appraisal will be drilled in a water depth of 388 metres at a location about 200 kilometres from shore, with an estimated duration of 49 days.
Statoil is hoping the appraisal will yield a further resource boost at Skrugard, where oil and gas volumes are currently estimated at 250 million barrels of oil equivalent following an earlier upgrade.
The Norwegian state oil company said at the time of the discovery in April this year that the find had potential upside of an additional 250 million boe, giving a possible total of 500 million boe.
Skrugard was found in a relatively unexplored area about 110 kilometres north of the Snohvit gas field and has been hailed as a breakthrough discovery in the frontier Arctic play.
However, it poses potential development challenges due to the long distance from shore and lack of available export infrastructure in the remote region.