Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) has given its approval to Wintershall Norge to drill the 6604/5 exploration well within the Balderbrå prospect in the Norwegian Sea. 

The well site is at water depths of nearly 1,220m. Wintershall Norge is scheduled to start drilling the well by 1 October.

The drilling programme is expected to continue for 36 days and is subject to any discoveries made in the prospect. The well will be drilled by a semi-submersible drilling facility ‘West Phoenix’, which is operated by North Atlantic Drilling.

A Moss Maritim CS50 type facility, West Phoenix received an acknowledgement of compliance (AoC) by PSA in June 2008. 

"The drilling programme is expected to continue for 36 days."

In February last year, Wintershall secured approval from PSA to drill two exploration wells, 35/8-6S and 35/8-6A, in the North Sea. 

Drilling started in March using the mobile facility Borgland Dolphin, which is Aker H-3 type and operated by Dolphin Drilling. 

Built in 1977 at Harland & Wolff in Belfast, Northern Ireland, the rig underwent an extensive upgrade in 1999. The facility received AoC in September 2004. 

German company Wintershall is a crude oil and natural gas producer and explores and produces oil and gas in Europe, North Africa, South America, Russia, and the Middle East.