Lundin Petroleum’s wholly-owned subsidiary Lundin Norway has started its exploration and appraisal campaign in the Loppa High area in the southern Barents Sea.

The campaign comprises three wells, commencing with the re-entry of the Alta-3 appraisal well 7220/11-3A in PL609.

Drilling will be carried out with semi-submersible drilling rigs provided by Leiv Eiriksson, which has been contracted for three firm well slots, with an additional six optional well slots.

"Drilling will be carried out with semi-submersible drilling rigs provided by Leiv Eiriksson."

The re-entry of Alta-3 aims to deepen the well in order to further evaluate the quality of the Permian carbonate reservoir.

Originally, the Alta-3 well encountered a gross hydrocarbon column of 120m.

Lundin estimates the Alta discovery to contain gross contingent resources of between 125 and 400 million barrels of oil equivalents (MMboe).

Once drilling of the Alta-3 well is completed, the rig will be moved further north to re-enter the Neiden exploration well 7220/6-2, which was partially drilled and suspended in October 2015.

Winter restrictions for the Island Innovator drilling rig resulted in the suspension of the well immediately above the prognosed reservoir section.

The prospect is estimated to contain gross unrisked prospective resources of 204 MMboe.

The third exploration well to be drilled will target the Filicudi prospect on PL533, which is to the northwest of the Alta discovery and south of the Johan Castberg discovery operated by Statoil.

The prospect is expected to contain a Jurassic sandstone reservoir, as well as gross unrisked prospective resources of 258 MMboe.

Lundin Norway operates both PL609 and PL533, and owns a 40% and 35% working interest in these respective licences.