Dong Energy plans to drill a deepwater exploration well 50 miles north-west of Shetland.
Drilling on the Cragganmore well, in 2,200 feet of water, could start in the final quarter of 2012 and take up to 54 days, according to an environmental impact assessment by the firm.
Denmark-based Dong says the well will most likely contain gas or gas condensate and be drilled using the West Navigator drill ship, owned by North Atlantic Drilling.
Dong is waiting for permission from the Department of Energy and Climate Change for permission for the work.
The firm is operator and 40%-owner of the licence, with Dana Petroleum having 30% equity and GDF Suez Exploration and Production UK 30%.