The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) has granted UK-based offshore operator Neptune Energy a drilling permit for two wildcat wells in the North Sea offshore Norway.

NPD noted that the drilling programme for wells 34/4-15 S and 34/4-15 A relates to the drilling of wildcat wells in production licence (PL) 882.

The area in PL-882 comprises parts of blocks 33/6 and 34/4.

The two wildcat wells will be drilled using the Deepsea Yantai semi-submersible drilling rig after completion of the drilling of production wells on the Duva field.

Neptune operates the licence and owns 40% in it. Other partners in the licence include Concedo (20%), Petrolia (20%) and Idemitsu Petroleum (20%).

Neptune Energy noted that the two wells will be drilled approximately ten kilometres northwest of the Snorre field in the North Sea.

In a press statement, NPD said: “Production licence 882 was awarded on 10 February 2017 in (APA 2016). These are the first and second exploration wells to be drilled in the licence.

“The permit is contingent on the operator securing all other permits and consents required by other authorities prior to commencing the drilling activity.”

Last month, Neptune Energy completed the acquisition of the 3D broadband seismic survey of the extensive Petrel field in the Bonaparte Basin, Australia.

In the same month, the company conducted a dual-drilling operation from an integrated subsea template structure at the Fenja field, offshore Norway.

In February, Neptune Energy produced first gas from the L5a-D4 well in the deepest producing gas field in the Dutch North Sea.