Equinor and its partners have made a commercial gas discovery in the Norwegian Sea, following the drilling of wildcat well 6605/1-2 S and appraisal well 6605/1-2 A.

Located approximately 23km south of the Irpa oil field and 350km west of Sandnessjøen, the new discovery, named Obelix Upflank, is estimated to hold between two billion and 11 billion cubic metres of recoverable gas.

The two wells, which are in production licence 1128, have been drilled using the Deepsea Stavanger drilling rig.

Following the drilling, well 6605/1-2 S identified three sandstone layers in the Springar Formation, with a moderate to good reservoir quality, while well 6605/1-2 A proved a 12m gas column in the uppermost sandstone layer, with a moderate to good reservoir quality.

The partners plan to undertake assessments of further delineation of the discovery and a possible tie-in to the Irpa field, which is which is being developed in the northern part of the Norwegian Sea.

Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) said wells 6605/1-2 S and A mark the first and second exploration wells in production licence 1128 awarded in the APA round in 2020.

Equinor Exploration and Production North senior vice-president Grete Haaland said: “Discoveries near existing infrastructure requires less volume in order to be commercially developed, and can be quickly put on stream with low CO₂ emissions.

“We will, together with our partners, consider tie-back of this discovery to Irpa, for which we recently submitted a plan for development and operation.”

Equinor operates production licence 1128 with a 70% stake while state-owned Petoro holds 20%, and Wintershall Dea owns the remaining 10% interest.