Equinor and its partners Vaar Energi and Petoro have made a new oil discovery close to its Johan Castberg development in the Barents Sea.

The companies have struck oil in exploration well 7220/7-4 on the Isflak exploration prospect offshore Norway.

Located about 10km south-west of the Skrugard discovery in a water depth of 349m, the well was drilled to a vertical depth of 2,080m below sea level using the Transocean Enabler semisubmersible drilling rig.

Upon drilling to a total depth in the Jurassic Tubåen Formation, the exploration well encountered a total oil column of 109m in the Stø and Nordmela Formation, of which about 90m were sandstone of moderate to good reservoir quality.

Equinor said that the main bore proved an oil column of over 100m, primarily in good quality Jurassic sequences of Stø Formation and Nordmela Formation sandstones.

As per the estimates, the discovery holds between five and eight million standard cubic metres of recoverable oil. This corresponds to 31 to 50 million barrels of recoverable oil.

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By GlobalData

Equinor Norway exploration senior vice-president Nick Ashton said: “Succeeding in the Barents Sea requires perseverance and a long-term perspective. This discovery strengthens our belief in the opportunities that exist, not least around the Castberg, Wisting, Snøhvit and Goliat areas.”

Although the well was not formation tested, extensive data acquisition and sampling was carried out.

The partners will consider further development of the discovery by linking it to the Johan Castberg development hub at a later stage.

The well was completed in the Tubåen formation from the Early Jurassic period in 351m of water. It has now been permanently plugged and abandoned.

Equinor operates the production licence 532 with a 50% stake while Vår Energi and Petoro hold 30% and 20% stakes respectively.