Azinor Catalyst has completed the farmout agreement of the Agar Plantain well and the P1763 licence on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS), which is being offered to oil and gas company Cairn Energy.

As part of the deal, which is subject to customary regulatory and joint venture party consents, Cairn will take 50% of the sole risk drilling activity on the project.

The company is also acquiring a 25% interest in the wider P1763 licence with Catalyst’s current partner Apache.

Catalyst will continue to be the operator for the proposed appraisal well, and Cairn gets an option to take over the operatorship related to Agar Plantain in the future.

Catalyst is in final preparations for the well, which is expected to be spudded in the third quarter of this year, subject to receipt of regulatory approvals.

“Our technical teams have been working together to refine the final elements of the well plan and we are enthusiastic about the potential we are seeing.”

The company has also entered a contract to secure the Transocean Leader semisubmersible to drill the well.

Azinor Catalyst exploration director Henry Morris said: “As a company with a strong and successful North Sea pedigree, we regard Cairn’s farm-in as further validation of the exciting potential of the Agar Plantain opportunity.

“Our technical teams have been working together to refine the final elements of the well plan and we are enthusiastic about the potential we are seeing.”

Catalyst 50% interest in blocks 9/9d and 9/14a comprising the Agar Discovery and the Plantain Prospect. The company made the Agar Discovery in 2014 with the 9/14a-15A exploration well.

Agar and Plantain contain mid-case resources of around 60 million barrels of oil equivalent.