Norwegian independent Noreco is farming down half of its operating stake in a Norwegian Sea licence that hosts a failed prospect while increasing its interest in another drilling target under an asset swap deal with compatriot North Energy.
Stavanger-based Noreco is handing over to North Energy a 15% stake in production licence 484, where it recently drilled the unsuccessful Verdande exploration well, to leave it with a 15% share, with remaining partners Explora Petroleum (30%), Dana Petroleum (30%) and E.ON E&P (10%).
The deal will give Alta-based North Energy an entry ticket into the licence where it is eyeing other potential prospects.
In return, Noreco will gain an additional 10% interest in PL616 in Norway’s North Sea - lifting its existing 20% stake in the licence to 30% - where an exploration well is due to be drilled at the Haribo prospect next year.
The prospect has estimated pre-drill resource potential of between 69 million and 192 million barrels of oil equivalent, according to Noreco.
As a result, North Energy will be left with a stake of only 5% in the latter licence, operated by Edison International on 25% with remaining partners Concedo (20%), Skagen44 (15%) and Lime Petroleum (5%).
The swap deal, effective from 1 July, remains subject to government approval.
Meanwhile, North Energy disclosed that a wildcat is due to be drilled later this month at the Pingvin prospect in Statoil-operated PL713 in the Barents Sea, in which it is a 20% partner.
The probe will target hydrocarbon potential to the west of the Johan Castberg discovery.