Maersk Oil has signed an agreement with Devon Energy Production to acquire the latter’s stakes in three fields in the Gulf of Mexico in a $1.3bn deal.

Under the agreement, Maersk Oil will acquire a 50% participating stake in the Petrobras operated Cascade field and 25% in each of the Chevron-operated St Malo and Jack fields.

Maersk Oil’s share of recoverable resources from the three fields, which are located in deep water with reservoirs in the Lower Tertiary trend, is expected to be over 200 million barrels of oil equivalent.

Prior to onstream production, Maersk Oil’s additional investment is likely to be about $1.3bn-$1.8bn, and is eventually expected to increase to $4bn.

Maersk Oil, as a partner in the three fields, will provide in-depth knowledge of the geological facets of the area and technological know-how to Petrobras and Chevron.

Production at the Cascade field is expected to begin in 2010, and at the St Malo and Jack fields in 2014.

AP Moller – Maersk CEO Nils S Andersen said that the company has a high activity level in the Gulf of Mexico, where it is currently evaluating the Buckskin discovery.

“Taking over Devon’s activities, which are also deepwater and with early production, will give us valuable insight in deep water play,” Andersen said.