The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) has granted energy frim Equinor a drilling permit for a well located in the production licence (PL) 960 offshore Norway.

NPD noted that the well 7018/5-1 would be drilled using the West Hercules drilling rig after concluding the drilling of Equinor’s wildcat well 6407/1-8 S in PL263D.

West Hercules is a sixth-generation semi-submersible drilling rig built in 2008.

Equinor operates and owns 40% of the PL960 licence. Other partners include Petoro AS (20%), Lundin Energy Norway (20%), and Wintershall Dea Norge (20%).

According to NPD, the area in this licence comprises parts of blocks 7018/4 and 7018/5.

NPD noted that the well will be drilled approximately 100km south-west of the Snøhvit field.

PL960 was awarded on 22 June 2018, as part of the 24th licensing round on the Norwegian shelf. The 7018/5-1 well is the first one to be drilled in the licence.

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

Last month, Equinor, along with its licence partners, made oil and gas discovery in the Swisher prospect near the Fram field in the North Sea offshore Norway.

In May, the NPD reported that Equinor concluded the drilling of wildcat well 35/10-6 near the Fram field.