Lundin eyes Torvastad probe

Debut well: semisub Island Innovator

Lundin Petroleum has secured a permit to drill a keenly watched wildcat at the Torvastad prospect in the northern part of the Johan Sverdrup discovery off Norway.

The 16/2-20 well will mark the maiden drilling effort for newbuild semi-submersible Island Innovator following its delivery last year from China’s Cosco Shipyard and subsequent upgrade at Bergen Group in Norway.

The deep-water unit has been hired by Lundin for an initial 12-well drilling campaign off Norway, starting with Torvastad in its operated production licence 501 that is set to be drilled in the current quarter.

Lundin chief executive Ashley Heppenstall said recently the prospect has “multi-million barrel potential”, with the Swedish explorer hoping the probe could prove an extension of the giant find to the north.

It will be the 14th exploration or appraisal well to be drilled in the licence, operated by Lundin with a 40% stake, with partners Statoil and Maersk Oil on 40% and 20% respectively.

It is one of three exploration wells to be drilled this year by Lundin on the prospective Utsira High structure, with Kopervik, located north-west of Torvastad in PL625, and Biotitt, which lies in southern PL544, also on the radar screen, after making a landmark find at the Luno 2 prospect recently.

Lundin is hoping to build on recent exploration success at Johan Sverdrup that has seen Statoil prove up a southern extension of the giant find in its operated PL502 while the latest appraisal in PL265, also operated by the company, has come up trumps.

It is part of an intensive appraisal drilling campaign at the discovery being carried out by the pair this year ahead of a resource update expected by the end of 2013 that is set to boost the present estimate of between 1.7 billion and 3.3 billion barrels of oil equivalent.

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