Equinor ASA (NYSE: EQNR), formerly Statoil, has been awarded nine new licenses in the 30th Offshore Licensing round, eight as operator, the Oil and Gas Authority said on May 23.
“This strengthens our position as an ambitious U.K. explorer. We believe the UKCS is underexplored and anticipate that there are new discoveries yet to be made that can add value to our business and provide resources for new developments,” Jenny Morris, Equinor’s vice president for exploration U.K., said.
“We have drilled several exploration wells on the UKCS over the last few years, and this award puts us in a position to further develop our portfolio and utilize our strengths in a mature, but prolific basin. This is in line with our strategy,” Morris added.
The licenses are spread across the UK shelf. The award includes one commitment well on the prospect Lifjellet in the Jæren High area. The plan is to progress work in the license through a site survey and to drill the well in 2019 in line with the strategy to efficiently mature and drill prospects.
This autumn Equinor will undertake a three-well exploration campaign. The plan is to seek clarity on the volume range of the 2017 Verbier discovery and to test two new prospects.
The Bigfoot prospect is located near the Mariner field, while Pip is in an underdeveloped area on the East Shetland platform.
The 2018 exploration campaign will start in third-quarter 2018.
Equinor is also developing the Mariner field on the UK Continental shelf, due to come on stream in late 2018.
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