Aker BP has gained a permit from the authorities to drill a pair of exploration wells at the Alve North East prospect in the Norwegian Sea.

The 6607/12-4 wildcat and subsequent appraisal, 6607/12-4A, will be sunk using Odfjell Drilling-owned semi-submersible Deepsea Nordkapp in a water depth of 367 metres in Aker BP-operated production licence 127C.

The initial probe will test hydrocarbon potential in a series of Jurassic formations and is due to be drilled sometime in the third quarter.

It will be drilled about seven kilometres north-east of the Alve North discovery.

Aker BP holds an 88% operating interest in the licence, with sole partner PGNiG on 12%.