Australian energy firm Woodside Petroleum has agreed to acquire a 20% participating interest in four BP operated Canadian exploration licences.

The licences, 2431, 2432, 2433 and 2434, are located in the Scotian Basin, offshore Nova Scotia.

BP will continue to operate the licences, which cover 14,000km² in water depths ranging from 500m to 3,600m.

"BP will continue to operate the licences, which cover 14,000km² in water depths ranging from 500m to 3,600m."

The future work programme is expected to include the drilling of exploration wells from 2017.

Financial terms of the agreement, which is subject to government and regulatory approvals, have not been disclosed.

Woodside Petroleum CEO Peter Coleman said the farm-in was an opportunity to explore an emerging basin with oil potential, in line with the company’s international exploration strategy.

Coleman said: "This acreage was high graded as part of our disciplined study of the Atlantic margins and it will complement our position in Morocco."

Woodside recently signed a binding transaction to acquire Apache’s Australian Wheatstone LNG, Balnaves oil interests and Kitimat LNG project interests in Canada, for $2.75bn.

Woodside has a portfolio of facilities, which it operates on behalf of global oil and gas firms.

The company also operates four oil floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessels in the Carnarvon Basin, North West Shelf and Timor Sea.