Wintershall Dea is preparing to redrill an appraisal well on its Bergknapp discovery offshore Norway having plugged and abandoned the original appraisal for safety reasons.

The German operator spudded the original 6406/3-12 appraisal well in mid July in Block PL 836S.

In the very early phase of drilling, an unexpected shallow gas pocket was encountered and the necessary equipment to deal with it was not on board, according to joint-venture partner DNO.

“After an assessment of risk, the partnership agreed to suspend operation, permanently plug and abandon the well, replan and then return to drill a new well at the nearby location later in the year,” DNO’s North Sea managing director Orjan Gjerde said recently.

A seismic survey was undertaken and a pilot well drilled before the original appraisal to test for shallow gas, and no such evidence was found.

The Bergknapp discovery contains estimated resources of between 38 million and 72 million barrels of oil equivalent in the Garn and Tilje formations.

The appraisal will test if it could be Wintershall Dea’s next field development in Norway.

On 22 September, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate issued a permit to Wintershall Dea for the redrill well, dubbed 6406/3-12 S.

The new well will be drilled using the semi-submersible Transocean Norge, which also drilled the original appraisal.

The ownership group comprises Wintershall Dea holding 40%, Equinor with 30% and DNO holding 30%.

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