Two drilling projects in the Faroese continental shelf this year

Around mid April the Norwegian oil company, Statoil, will resume the drilling of a well in the Faroese continental shelf that the company started in 2012. Another drilling project will commence in the Faroese continental shelf later this year.

The Norwegian drilling platform, West Hercules, which will drill two exploration wells in the Faroese continental shelf this year, has now started its final drilling project in the Barents Sea before it begins the long journey towards the Faroe Islands.

Statoil, which is the operator company in charge of the upcoming drilling projects in Faroese territory, has previously announced that it plans to start drilling the Brugdan II well in April. The Brugdan II well is located to the southeast of the Faroe Islands about halfway towards the British maritime boundary. This drilling project is expected to be finished sometime in the summer, after which the West Hercules platform will be moved to the east of the Faroe Islands, close to the British maritime boundary, to drill its final well this year in a prospect called Súlan/Stelkur.

Before an exploratory hydrocarbon drilling project can commence, the relevant authorities must approve the project. The Faroese licensing authority, Jarðfeingi, received an application in January from the operator company, Statoil. According to Jarðfeingi, the main purpose of the application process is to ensure that drilling is conducted in a manner that safeguards health, safety and the environment.

The work to drill Brugdan II began in 2012, but because it took longer than expected to finish the well, and because winter was around the corner, it was decided to temporarily stop the drilling and postpone it until a later date. The project will now resume in April this year. When this drilling project reaches its conclusion, which is expected to be in July, the platform will be relocated to start drilling the second well to be drilled in Faroese territory this year.

The first well in the Faroese continental shelf was drilled in 2001. With this year’s two new drilling projects, the total number of drillings in Faroese territory will reach nine.
Although hydrocarbons have been discovered in the Faroese underground, so far it has not been possible to find sufficient quantities for commercial extraction. That Statoil will resume the drilling of Brugdan II is a sign that the company believes it is possible to find sufficient quantities of hydrocarbon to start profitable hydrocarbon production.

Kári Mikkelsen, journalist

(Sources: Jardfeingi.fo and Oljan.fo)
(Photo: Jonas Karlsbakk/Barentsobserver.com)