Faroe Petroleum has purchased a 12.5% interest in the Darwin prospect, located in the Norwegian Barents Sea, from Talisman Energy.

Under the terms of the agreement, the company will carry out well cost obligations in return for the share in production licence 531 located 60 – 80km south-west of the Statoil Skrugard and Havis oil discoveries.

Drilling costs will be funded through Faroe Petroleum’s existing cash resources.

The Darwin wildcat exploration well is located on the Veslemøy High and is a large closure at multiple levels.

Graham Stewart, Faroe Petroleum chief executive, said: "With drilling operations due to begin around the end of the year, this adds a further exciting well to our already substantial drilling programme and gives us access to our first exploration well in the highly prospective Barents Sea."

A 3D seismic survey on the block has identified multiple targets and the company plans to spud the first exploration well at the site by end of December 2012.

The prospect will be tested by the company, which will allow it to understand the upside potential in the remainder of the licence area.

The new acquisition will add to the company’s business portfolio in the Barents Sea. It already has two large existing licences in the Bjarmeland basin further to the east.

Repsol Exploration will be in charge of the drilling operations at the site and will employ the Aker Barents semisubmersible drilling rig.

Other partners in PL531 are Talisman Energy, with a 12.5% stake; Marathon Oil with a ten percent interest; RWE Dea Norge, which holds a 25% interest; and Concedo, which has 20% stake.

Faroe Petroleum said the farm-in agreement is subject to approval by the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy in Norway.

Image: Aker Barents semisubmersible drilling rig will be employed to drill the Darwin prospect in Norwegian Barents Sea. Photo courtesy of: Tannkrem.