Norwegian oil giant Equinor, formerly named Statoil, has been awarded nine licenses on the UK North Sea Shelf, reveals the company in a press release.
Out of the nine licenses Equinor awarded, the company will serve as operator on eight of them.
"This strengthens our position as an ambitious UK explorer. We believe the UKCS is underexplored and anticipate that there are new discoveries yet to be made that can add value to our business and provide resources for new developments," says Jenny Morris, vice president for exploration UK in Equinor, in the press statement.
"We have drilled several exploration wells on the UKCS over the last few years, and this award puts us in a position to further develop our portfolio and utilize our strengths in a mature but prolific basin. This is in line with our strategy."
According to the press release, the licenses have been allocated across several parts of the UK North Sea. The award includes a commitment well on the prospect Lifjellet in the Jæren High area. The plan is to progress work in the license through a site survey and to drill the well in 2019.
In the Fall, Equinor will carry our exploratory drilling with three wells. The plan is to clarify the volume size of the Verbier find from 2017 and to tests two new prospects, the Bigfoot prospect located near the Mariner field and Pip, an underdeveloped area on the East Shetland platform.
The drilling will begin in Q3 2018. Equinor has also announced that it will expand the Mariner field, which will begin production in late 2018.
English Edit: Lena Rutkowski