A joint venture led by Austrian energy giant OMV has received regulatory approval to drill an exploration well and an appraisal well in the Norwegian North Sea west of Stavanger.

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate said it had granted OMV a drilling permit for wells 15/2-2 S and 15/2-2 A, to be drilled in Block PL817 starting this month.

OMV and its partners Neptune Energy and Source Energy have secured the semi-submersible rig Deepsea Yantai for the wells.