Wintershall's Maria well gets go-aheadThe Norwegian Petroleum Directorate has issued a drilling permit for Wintershall to drill an exploration well as part of the Maria Appraisal project in the Norwegian Sea.
The 6407/1-5 S well will be drilled by Fred. Olsen Energy-owned semi-submersible Borgland Dolphin about 39 kilometres south-west of the Heidrun field in a water depth of 300 metres in Production Licence 475 BS/CS.
Drilling is expected to kick off once the rig has completed a well for E.ON Ruhrgas at the Sesam and Sinbad prospects, and is expected to take between 60 and 87 days. It had previously been envisaged for a December start.
The German explorer is looking to delineate a thin belt of acreage from Heidrun south-west to the Maria discovery, which was made last year, with a view to a possible subsea tieback of the find to a nearby platform at Heidrun, Kristin or Aasgard.
Drilling success could lead to an upgrade of the find’s original resource estimate of between 63 million and 126 million barrels of oil.
Wintershall is operator of the licence with 50%, with partners Faroe Petroleum (30%) and Centrica (20%).