Statoil has signed an agreement to acquire a 20% interest in the Nautical Petroleum interest in UK offshore licence P335, which contains the Mariner field.

The $137m deal will give Statoil a 65% stake in the field while Nautical will retain a 6% interest.

The company will also pay Nautical $4.7m in costs up to the final investment decision within two years.

Statoil became operator of Mariner in late 2007 in order to develop a production hub in a prolific heavy oil area.