Scottish oil firm Cairn Energy said today that it had struck a deal with Azinor Catalyst to farm into a North Sea licence.
Edinburgh-headquartered Cairn will take 25% of licence p1763, which contains the Agar discovery and the Plantain prospect, subject to regulatory and joint venture partner approval.
London-based Azinor, which is backed by Seacrest Capital Group, currently owns 50% of the licence, while Apache Corporation has the other 50%.
Cairn will also join Azinor for “50% of the sole risk drilling activity” on the licence.
Azinor has now signed a contract to book the Transocean Leader rig for drilling the Agar-Plantain wells in the third quarter of 2018.
Azinor will retain operatorship of the proposed appraisal well with Cairn acquiring an option to take over that role at a later date.
Together, Agar and Plantain are thought to hold about 60million barrels oil equivalent.
They sit east of Apache’s Beryl field, about 210 miles north-east of Aberdeen.
Azinor made the Agar discovery in 2014 with well 9/14a-15A.
Azinor exploration director Henry Morris said: “We are delighted to welcome Cairn onto the licence as we move towards drilling. As a company with a strong and successful North Sea pedigree, we regard Cairn’s farm-in as further validation of the exciting potential of the Agar Plantain opportunity.
“Our technical teams have been working together to refine the final elements of the well plan and we are enthusiastic about the potential we are seeing.
We are also pleased to have signed a contract with Transocean to secure the services of the Transocean Leader semisubmersible to drill Agar Plantain. Subject to receipt of final regulatory approvals we expect to spud in Q3 2018.”