The Sputnik well was drilled in licence PL855, around 30 kilometres North East of the Wisting discovery. The well encountered a 15 metre oil column in a Triassic sandstone reservoir. Fluid samples contain light oil and water.

We are encouraged by this result as it confirms the presence of oil north of the Wisting discovery, where Equinor has acquired a strong acreage position

said Nick Ashton, Equinor’s senior vice president for exploration in Norway and the UK.

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In 2017, Equinor’s Gemini Nord well resulted in a very small, uncommercial oil discovery in a reservoir channel system within the PL855 licence. In 2018, a larger channel complex was targeted in the neighboring PL615 licence, with the Intrepid Eagle well. This well proved a 200 metre gas column, but no oil. The Sputnik well, which is the second well in  PL855, has proven oil in a large channel system.

Nick Ashton added that detailed fluid analysis combined with geological and geophysical mapping will be conduct to fully understand the commercial potential of the Sputnik discovery. If confirmed that the structure comprises volumes that can be recovered in a commercially viable way, the partnership will assess possible development solutions.

The Sputnik well (7324/6-1) was drilled to a vertical depth of 1569 metres below the seabed by semi-submersible drilling rig West Hercules, which has now moved on to drill the Equinor operated Lanterna well in PL796 in the Norwegian Sea.

Equinor is operator and holds 55% of the PL855 licence. Partners are OMV (25%) and Petoro (20%).