Equinor has been forced to re-spud a key exploration probe offshore eastern Canada after hitting problems.

The Sitka O-02 probe is being drilled in the hope that the Norwegian major can find more hydrocarbons to underpin its Bay du Nord project.

Located in 850 metres of water in exploration licence 1156, the top hole of the original well was completed in October 2020 by the semi-submersible Transocean Barents, in readiness to be re-entered at a later date.

Seadrill’s West Hercules started re-entering the well on 26 July this year but was forced to suspend this well on 16 September “due to operational issues”, an Equinor spokesperson said.