Imperial Oil, Exxon Mobil and BP have formed a joint-venture to look for oil and natural gas in Canada’s Beaufort Sea.

The two exploration areas involved in the joint venture are Ajurak, acquired by Exxon and Imperial for nearly $600 million in 2007, and the Pokak lease bought by BP as part of a package of other Arctic assets in 2008.

The leases located in waters between 200 feet and 4,000 feet deep are situated between 75 and 90 miles off Canada’s north shore, directly north of the city of Inuvik in the Northwest Territories.

Imperial and Exxon will each hold a 25% stake in the venture, and BP will own the remaining 50% interest.