Faroe Petroleum said yesterday it had been awarded a new exploration licence in Norway and also prequalified as an operator for the Norwegian continental shelf.
The Aberdeen company said it had received a 30% interest in PL477B. The other stakeholders are operator Centrica (40%) and Petro-Canada (30%)
Faroe said significant hydrocarbon potential had been identified in this Norwegian Sea licence, which is beside its PL477 licence.
The work programme and licence period for the new permit is identical to that of PL477, with a drill-or-drop decision to be taken in 2011.
Faroe said prequalifying as an operator would allow it to pursue operated opportunities and retain higher equity levels in assets acquired through both future licensing rounds and acquisitions.
It said it had entered Norway in 2006 with the clear objective of building a significant, high-quality exploration portfolio to complement its strategic Atlantic Margin position.
Faroe added: “Norway is recognised as having vast untapped oil and gas potential, and the company has built up a considerable portfolio to explore this, totalling 20 licences. This has been achieved through focusing the skills and considerable experience of our established Norway team, to carefully select the best possible licences with the greatest potential.”
Graham Stewart, chief executive of Faroe, said the company was very pleased to have been awarded this prospective licence, applied for in the 2009 Norwegian APA licensing round.
He added: “This new asset complements the company’s existing licence portfolio in Norway, and we are currently considering applying for licences in the upcoming 21st licensing round in Norway, in which some very exciting new licences are expected to be offered.
“As we continue with our scheduled, fully funded drilling programme, we now look forward to five high-impact wells in 2010, the first of which is expected to be the Fogelberg well in Norway next month.
“The prequalification as operator is a recognition by the Norwegian authorities of Faroe Petroleum’s management systems and competence. This is an important step and we believe it will open new opportunities for the company in Norway in the coming years.”
Faroe shares closed yesterday down 0.5p at 127p.