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Statoil ready to roll on Kayak

Explorer gains safety nod for frontier wildcat in Barents Sea off Norway

Statoil has gained the green light from Norway’s safety authority to drill a wildcat at the Kayak prospect in the Barents Sea.

The 7219/9-2 probe will be drilled by semi-submersible Songa Enabler in a water depth of 336 metres in Statoil-operated production licence 532, about 198 kilometres north-west of the northern county of Finnmark.

The licence also hosts the state-controlled operator’s Johan Castberg discovery and Kayak could be tied back to a proposed floating production, storage and offloading vessel for the field in the event of a discovery.

The wildcat, which was scheduled for drilling this month, is the second of a planned five-to-seven well exploration campaign in the Barents as Statoil returns to the frontier Arctic play after an earlier abortive drilling effort.

Statoil set to step up exploration drilling

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The probe at Kayak, originally scheduled to start this month with an estimated duration of 41 days, will also target the secondary Husky prospect in a sandstone reservoir of Jurassic and chalk age.

The spud date is though apparently delayed as the first well of the campaign - at the Blaamann prospect near Eni’s Goliat oilfield - has yet to start drilling using the same Songa Offshore-owned rig, although it has gained final clearances from the authorities.

The Songa Enabler has been drilling a production well at Statoil’s Snohvit field in the Barents that needs to be completed before the rig is available for the exploration effort.

The rig was earlier targeted by Greenpeace activists who carried out a water-borne protest using kayaks while it was moored near Tromso.