Drilling on the field is planned to start in mid-August 2018, and will probably last 28 days, depending on whether a discovery is made.

West Hercules mobile drilling facility will drill the well. This facility is a semi-submersible drilling facility of the GVA 7500 type. West Hercules received an Acknowledgement of Compliance (AoC) by the PSA in December 2012.


Earlier in June, Norway granted 12 oil and gas exploration licences to 11 companies. The licenses are focused mostly on the Arctic, where Norway believes is the greatest potential for new discoveries. Nine licences are in the Barents Sea and three in the Norwegian Sea.

Equinor, former Statoil, was granted five licences and will take part as a non-operating participant in two more.

Moreover, the Norwegian Parliament approved the plan for development and operation of the Johan Castberg field in the Barents Sea, on Monday 11 June.

The field will be operated by Equinor, and its first oil scheduled for 2022. The field development includes a production vessel and a subsea system, 30 wells distributed on 10 templates and 2 satellite structures. This is currently the largest subsea field under development globally.