Wellesley to drill Toppand East prospect in first-half 2024

Nov. 15, 2023
Wellesley Petroleum expects to drill the Toppand East prospect offshore Norway in PL 248 C in first-half 2024.

Wellesley Petroleum expects to drill the Toppand East prospect offshore Norway in production license (PL) 248 C in first-half 2024.

The license partners signed a rig assignment agreement for the COSL Promoter rig earlier this month, Wellesley said in a release Nov. 9.

Wellesley will operate the drilling of the prospect on behalf of the license partners, it said. Equinor is operator of the license with 30%, while Wellesley holds 30% and Petoro holds the remaining 40%.

Toppand East is “an attractive ILX target that has the potential to add significant volumes to Toppand and to the Ringvei Vest area development,” said Chris Elliott, chief executive officer of Wellesley, noting Equinor’s help to secure the rig slot, aiding in acceleration of exploration drilling activity in the area.

Toppand East is considered a low-risk appraisal target in the Middle Jurassic Brent/Oseberg structural trap charged from the Toppand structure. Toppand, a four-way structure in the Brent reservoir fairway in PL 630, was discovered in January 2022 by the 35/10-7 S and A wells, which found oil-filled, stacked reservoirs and an oil-water contact (OGJ Online, Jan. 7. 2022).

Equinor is operator of Toppand with 95% interest. Wellesley holds 5% (OGJ Online, Mar. 1, 2023).

Toppand will be developed with two oil producers and a water injector as part of the Fram and North Troll area (FANTA) project, which encompasses development of the Equinor-operated Grosbeak, Swisher, and Toppand discoveries.

FANTA will tie back to the Equinor-operated Troll B / C platforms, which are expected to be electrified in time for first production. Both platforms will be powered by hydroelectric power from shore and are expected to have zero CO2 emissions associated with their oil production.

The FANTA project is expected to achieve PDO in 2024, with first production from all fields expected in 2028-29.