Maersk Oil’s farm out of 40% interest in its licence covering Block 9 (Tooq) in Baffin Bay, offshore of Greenland, has been approved by Naalakkersuisut, Greenland’s Government.

"In the first phase of the licensing agreement, Maersk Oil will acquire 3D seismic data and initiate reconnaissance surveys from 2011 to 2014."

The licence has been farmed out to Tullow Oil. Greenland’s state oil company, Nunaoil, will hold 12.5% interest in the 11,802 square kilometre block, while Maersk Oil, part of A.P. Møller – Mæersk, remains as the operator.

Maersk Oil Kalaallit Nunaat (Greenland) managing director Carsten Sønderskov said the agreement will help the company in sharing both knowledge and risk as it conducts exploration activities.

"We have just successfully completed a 3D seismic survey in the area, after a comprehensive Environmental Impact Assessment was carried out and approved by Greenland’s Government," said Sønderskov.

"The decision whether or not to drill an exploration well will be made after the seismic evaluation has been completed. Therefore, any drilling is still years away and will only take place if we are certain we can do it safely."

In the first phase of the licensing agreement, Maersk Oil will acquire 3D seismic data and initiate reconnaissance surveys from 2011 to 2014.

Tullow Oil exploration firector Angus McCoss said: "We are very pleased to be partnering with Maersk Oil and Nunaoil in this unexplored and highly prospective province. Our complementary skills and expertise will allow us to evaluate fully the potential of Block 9 in the initial seismic phase."