Equinor Energy has secured approval from the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) to drill wells 35/11-25 S and 35/11-25 A in the North Sea.

Located in production licence 090, the two wildcat wells will be drilled using the Deepsea Atlantic drilling facility and about 10km west of the Fram field.

Equinor Energy serves as the operator for production licence 090 with a 45% stake while other licensees include Vår Energi (25%), Neptune Energy Norge (15%) and Idemitsu Petroleum Norge (15%).

According to NPD, the area in the production licence 090 comprises part of block 35/11.

In a press statement, NPD said: “The permit is contingent on the operator securing all other permits and consents required by other authorities prior to commencing the drilling activity.”

Deepsea Atlantic deepwater and harsh environment semi-submersible is due to complete maintenance work on Equinor Energy’s Gullfaks field in production licence 050. The field is located in block 34/10 in the northern part of the Norwegian North Sea.

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The unit is designed to support operations in harsh environments and at water depths of up to 3,000m.

Additionally, the rig is equipped with an efficient drilling system featuring a dual derrick with a main and an auxiliary work centre to facilitate simultaneous operations.

In March, Equinor and partners made an oil discovery in the Blasto prospect located near the Fram and Troll fields in the Norwegian North Sea.

According to preliminary estimates, the discovery holds between 12 and 19 million standard cubic metres of recoverable oil equivalent. This corresponds to 75-120 million barrels of recoverable oil equivalent.