Cairn Energy has taken a 15% stake in production licences PL497 and PL497B, on the Norwegian Continental Shelf, following a deal with Oslo-listed Bridge Energy.

Bridge said it had agreed to farm down half its original 30% interest in both licences to Cairn’s wholly owned subsidiary, Agora Oil & Gas.

In exchange Cairn will carry “a substantial share” of Bridge’s costs related to a well on the Geite prospect which is due to spud during the third quarter of the year.

The Geite prospect is a large four-way-dip closure that lies about 33 kilometres west of the Ula field, in a water depth of about 80 metres.

“Through this farm-out, Bridge is able to re-allocate its exploration capital over a wider number of prospects in support of one of our key corporate objectives,” said Bridge managing director, Alfred Kjemperud.

“The 15% interest in Geite which Bridge retains represents a substantial target and gives upside potential which could have a material value impact in the event of a discovery.”

The other partners in PL497 and PL497B include operator Det Norske Oljeselskap on 35%, Dana Petroleum on 25% and Lotus Exploration & Production with the remaining 10%.