Spirit Energy has agreed to take over as operator of the Babbage field and the nearby Cobra discovery in the North Sea.
The transfer depends on current operator Premier Oil’s ability to complete the sale of its 47% stake in Babbage and 50% interest in Cobra to Verus Petroleum.
Dana Petroleum is the other partner in Babbage, with a 40% interest.
Spirit owns 13% of Babbage and 50% of Cobra.
Spirit intends to drill an exploration well at the Python prospect, adjacent to Cobra, in the area next year to further prove up reserves in the region.
Chris Cox, chief executive at Spirit, said: “Becoming operator at Babbage is an excellent adjustment to Spirit Energy’s portfolio – it is an asset and an area we know well and we are looking forward to working with our partners to maximise the value of the field.
“With an exploration well at the nearby Python prospect to come in Q2 2019, we see significant opportunities to build on the Greater Babbage Area and boost production further from a field which is expected to produce gas for many years to come.”
Babbage, which first came on stream in 2010, is produced via a not permanently-attended installation 55 miles off the east coast of the UK and has a year-to-date 2018 average production of around 5,600 barrels of oil equivalent per day.