Wellesley Petroleum has secured a permit from the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) to drill an exploration well.

The company received the approval to drill well 6204/11-3, as part of a drilling campaign of wildcat wells in production licence 829.

It is located 65km from the Peon discovery and 100km south-west of Ålesund.

Wellesley will utilise the Borgland Dolphin drilling facility for the work. The rig is currently at the shipyard in Kvinesdal, Norway.

The production licence (PL) 829 comprises parts of blocks 6204/7, 8, 10 and 11. Wellesley operates the licence with a 60% interest. Equinor Energy (20%) and Petoro (20%) are other stakeholders.

The 6204/11-3 is the first exploration well to be drilled in the licence.

In a statement, NPD said: “The permit is contingent on the operator securing all other permits and consents required by other authorities prior to commencing the drilling activity.”

Wellesley is engaged in hydrocarbon exploration in Norway. Since early 2016, the company has participated in 16 exploration and appraisal wells.

In June, NPD permitted UK-based offshore operator Neptune Energy to drill two wildcat wells in the North Sea offshore Norway. The drilling was related to the drilling of wildcat wells in production licence (PL) 882.

Equinor also received NPD approval in June to advance with the plans to drill exploration wells in the northern North Sea. The programme included a wildcat well and an appraisal well in PL248 C.