FOR a place that is supposed to be running out of oil and gas, the North Sea is apparently chock full of the stuff.

Faroe Petroleum, the independent oil and gas company that focuses principally on exploration, appraisal and production opportunities in Norway and the UK, is the latest firm to announce its intention to drill in the North Sea.

The company announced yesterday that it has been awarded a new prospective exploration licence under the 30th Licence Round on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS).

The announcement came just days after Aberdeen-based Faroe declared that it would be drilling in the Brasse field off Norway. The company hopes to treble its production rates.

The licence is for Block 30/14b in what is known as the Edinburgh Prospect which straddles the UK-Norway border in the Central North Sea, at the south eastern end of the prolific Josephine Ridge area.

The block is south of the producing Blane field and adjacent to the producing Flyndre/Cawdor fields operated by Maersk.

Faroe stated: “The structure is a large, tilted Mesozoic fault block, and is one of the largest remaining undrilled structures in the Central North Sea covering an area of over 40 square kilometres.

“The prospective reservoirs in this new licence include the Triassic Skagerrak Formation and the Upper Jurassic Ula age-equivalent (Freshney and Fulmar) proven reservoir sandstones.”

The company added: “Faroe’s experience of partnering and operating in both the UK and Norway represents a distinct advantage in bringing the drilling of this highly exciting exploration prospect to fruition.

“The licence work programme comprises a drill-or-drop well, pore pressure analysis and structural studies.”

Graham Stewart, chief executive of Faroe Petroleum, commented: “We are pleased to announce the award of Block 30/14b which contains the high-impact Edinburgh prospect.

“This award is significant in that it is our first new licence in the UKCS since 2014 and leverages Faroe’s considerable knowledge and technical expertise gained over many years of activity in both UK and Norwegian waters in order to access attractive cross-border opportunities such as Edinburgh,” he added.

“Faroe is targeting multiple potential new discoveries with a significant exploration and appraisal programme of six wells committed in 2018 alone, taking full advantage of current low rig rates.

“Faroe’s track record in exploration has been outstanding, having delivered the vast majority of the company’s 2P reserves and 2C resources.

“This in turn has led to the company’s very significant development programme designed to more than treble current production rates over the coming years.

“The exciting Fogelberg appraisal well is currently underway, to be followed by the high-impact Rungne exploration and then the new Brasse East exploration well, both of which are located near to the Brasse field.”