BP has started drilling a highly anticipated exploration well on a multi-billion barrel prospect offshore eastern Canada.

If the Ephesus F-94 probe is successful, it could trigger a flurry of interest from major players in exploration acreage that is currently on offer in the Orphan basin offshore Newfoundland & Labrador.

The drillship Stena IceMax arrived on location in exploration licence 1168 on 6 May, according to marine intelligence provider VesselsValue.