Wintershall and partners have started drilling of the Kvalross exploration well 7224/2-1 in the Norwegian Barents Sea.

Licence PL611 comprises the Kvalross prospect, which will test two independent targets.

The targets include the Kvalross prospect, which has oil and gas resource potential within Lower Triassic Klappmyss Formation clinoform reservoir; and the Kvaltann prospect with additional oil potential within a Mid-Late Triassic Snadd Formation channel.

Wintershall secured a drilling permit for the well from the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate in December 2015.

"Kvalross will use the same rig as was used to make the Pil and Bue discoveries last year."

The licence is operated by Wintershall Norge with an ownership interest of 40%. Remaining partners include Faroe Petroleum with having 40% interest and Petoro owning 20%.

Well 7224/2-1 would be drilled using the Transocean Arctic drilling rig at position 72°46’25.92" north and 24°23’56.33" east.

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Faroe Petroleum chief executive Graham Stewart said: "We are very pleased to announce the spudding of the Kvalross well, which is the first of three exploration wells in Faroe’s drilling programme for 2016 in Norway.

"Kvalross is on trend with and just to the south of OMV’s significant Wisting and Hanssen discoveries and will use the same rig as was used to make the Pil and Bue discoveries last year."

Faroe provided an update of the resource range for the Pil and Bue discoveries of between 80Mboe and 200Mboe in July 2014.

The area in this licence comprises 7223/3, 7223/6, 7224/1, 7224/2, 7224/3, 7224/4 and 7224/5 blocks.