Norwegian oil major Equinor has received consent from the offshore safety body, the Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA), for exploration drilling in the Norwegian Sea using the West Hercules drilling rig.

West Hercules; Source: Lundin

The PSA said on Monday that it gave Equinor a consent to drill an exploration well, designated 6407/3-2 S, in production license 796 in the Norwegian Sea.

The drilling location is northwest of the Mikkel field and around 105 kilometers from Froan in Trøndelag.

According to the PSA, the drilling of the well named Lanterna was scheduled to start in early July 2019. The drilling operations are expected to last 45 days in a water depth of 237 meters.

The well will be drilled by the West Hercules semi-submersible drilling rig built in South Korea in 2008. It is owned and operated by North Atlantic Management.

The PSA added that it issued West Hercules with an Acknowledgement of Compliance (AoC) on December 21, 2012.

Last month, the PSA awarded consents for exploration drilling to Wintershall DEA and Equinor, both using the West Hercules rig.

The consent given to Equinor was for a well on the Gladsheim prospect with drilling set for in late August. Wintershall DEA’s Toutatis prospect in the Norwegian Sea will be drilled in September / October 2019.