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Equinor has secured an exploration acreage in the Northern Carnarvon Basin, offshore Western Australia.

Through the new exploration permit, Equinor has become the operator and 100% owner of the WA-542-P acreage.

Equinor senior vice-president for international offshore exploration Paul McCafferty said: “We are pleased with this award which expands our position in Australia with an exploration opportunity in a proven basin.”

Located west of the recent Dorado oil discovery, WA-542-P block covers 4815k2m and is about 100km from the Australian coast. The water depth at this block ranges from 80m to 350m.

McCafferty added: “An interesting new liquids play has emerged in this part of Australia’s northwest shelf and we are looking forward to assessing the potential in our new permit.”

For this acreage, the work programme to be undertaken by Equinor includes geological and geophysical studies, new 3D seismic acquisition, and reprocessing of seismic data.

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By GlobalData

With an office in Australia since 2012, Equinor has been the operator for EPP39 and EPP40 in the Ceduna Basin offshore South Australia. Last week, Equinor, on behalf of the Njord licence, granted a subsea service contract to Saipem for use of a wireless underwater intervention drone and an ROV.

With this contract, Equinor stated that it will become the first user of technology expected to be completed in 2020. Saipem’s Norway branch will be undertaking the work once the Njord field resumes production in 2020.

The contract, lasting for ten years, has five two-year options for additional extension. The fixed part of the contract is valued at about 40m.

This new technology deploys an underwater intervention drone (Hydrone-R) as well as an all-electric work class ROV (Hydrone-W). For months, the drone may be autonomous below Njord between scheduled maintenance, while Hydrone-W will be linked to the platform just as a conventional ROV.