April 17 (UPI) -- A drilling facility in the Norwegian waters of the North Sea is moving on to frontier territory after coming up empty handed, a partner in the effort said.
Regional explorer Aker BP, the operator of the license, was drilling a wildcat well, one not previously known to hold reserves. The exploration well was about 4 miles southwest of the producing Knarr field and 12 miles north of the Visund field.
The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate data show the company came up empty handed.
"The well has been classified as dry, with traces of petroleum," it stated Tuesday.
Aker BP has the controlling interest in the effort. Cairn Energy is a minority partner and said the drilling facility, the Transocean Arctic, is moving closer to another field.
"Well 34/2-5 S was drilled by the Transocean Arctic drilling facility, which will now drill a wildcat well on the west flank of the Valhall field, where Aker BP ASA is the operator," Cairn stated.
There was no comment from Aker BP on the effort.
Aker BP in December submitted formal development plans to Norwegian regulators for the Ærfugl, formerly called Snadd, Skogul and Valhall fields in national waters. The fields combine for 345 million barrels of oil equivalent and investments of approximately $1.8 billion.
The company said the Valhall field is a "giant oil field" in the southern Norwegian waters of the North Sea. Six production wells are planned for a field with 60 million barrels of oil equivalent and a startup date in fourth quarter 2019. The total investment is estimated at $664 million.