(Rigzone, Wednesday, August 21, 2019) -- Equinor’s recent Sputnik discovery has a “high chance” of commerciality, according to Wood Mackenzie North Sea Upstream Analyst Jamie Thompson.

“The aptly-named field could be a satellite of the pre-FID [final investment decision] 440 million barrel Wisting development, which is just 30 kilometres [18.6 miles] from Sputnik,” Thompson said in a statement sent to Rigzone.

“We expect Wisting to reach FID in 2022, with first oil in 2026. If it progresses to plan, Sputnik could start up towards the end of the decade when Wisting comes off plateau,” Thompson added.

The Wood Mackenzie representative noted that the potential commerciality of Sputnik provides a “much-needed” boost to Barents exploration and “highlights the importance of developing new infrastructure in this emerging basin”.

Equinor revealed Tuesday that it had made an oil discovery in the Sputnik exploration well, which is located in the Barents Sea offshore Norway. Recoverable resources at the asset are preliminarily estimated at between 20 and 65 million barrels of oil, according to the company.

Detailed fluid analysis, combined with geological and geophysical mapping, will be carried out to fully understand the commercial potential of the Sputnik discovery, Nick Ashton, Equinor’s senior vice president for exploration in Norway and the UK, revealed in a company statement released on Tuesday.

Sputnik was drilled to a vertical depth of 5,147 feet below the seabed by the semi-submersible drilling rig West Hercules. Equinor holds a 55 percent operated interest in the PL855 license. Its partners comprise OMV (25 percent) and Petoro (20 percent). 

On Monday, Lundin Petroleum AB revealed that its wholly owned subsidiary, Lundin Norway AS, had made an oil discovery at exploration well 16/5-8s offshore Norway. The company also made two oil discoveries offshore Norway back in June.

Last month, Aker BP made an oil discovery in the NOAKA area offshore Norway. Equinor announced an oil and gas discovery in the Norwegian Sea through the Snadd Outer Outer/Black Vulture exploration well back in June.

Wood Mackenzie, which traces its roots back to 1923, is an energy research and consultancy company. The business has locations all over the world.

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