UK-listed junior Longboat Energy is on track to drill four exploration wells on Norway’s continental shelf before the end of this year after completing earlier farm-in deals with Norway’s Equinor, Japan’s Idemitsu and the UK's Spirit Energy.

Longboat named these wildcats Egyptian Vulture, where it bought a 15% interest, Rodhette and Mugnetind with 20% interest in each one, and Ginny/Hermine, where it holds a 9% stake.

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Three more wells — Cambozola, Kveikje and Copernicus — are set to be spudded next year at the Norwegian Shelf, according to the company.

Longboat said the Copernicus wildcat — where it holds a 10% interest — is now a firm commitment following a recent notification to the Norwegian authorities by the joint venture partners, Equinor and Poland’s PGNiG.

Copernicus lies on the Utgard High in the Voring Basin region of the Norwegian Sea.

The Copernicus prospect is estimated to contain gross mean prospective resources of 254 million barrels of oil equivalent with further potential upside to bring the total to 471 MMboe.

The chance of success associated with the Copernicus prospect is 26%, with the key risks being reservoir presence, its quality and structural traps, the company said.

Tax-change assessment

Longboat also said that after analysing new proposals by Norway’s Ministry of Finance for potential changes to the country’s petroleum taxation system from 2022, it will remain subject to the total marginal tax rate of 78%.

In its press statement, Longboat said it still expects to receive the tax value of exploration costs refunded in cash at the revised special tax base of about 72%, although the remaining corporation tax element of 6.2% would be carried forward to be set off against future profits from production.

The company will continue to benefit from the temporary tax regime introduced in 2020 and effective until the end of this year.

A consultation paper with further detail of the proposals is expected to be published by the Ministry of Finance next week.

Longboat will continue to benefit from the bimonthly negative tax instalments for its four-well drilling campaign this year, it added.

In June, Longboat raised £35 million ($49.3 million) through a new share placing and confirmed farm-in agreements with Equinor and Spirit Energy, giving it access to the new exploration programme.