UK player Premier had retained an option to farm into Block 12/30 on production licence P1920 which North Sea Energy’ subsidiary Echo Exploration was given control earlier this year.

Having exercised this option, Premier now holds a 50% stake in the block which contains the Badger prospect.

“The Badger prospect is located in the Inner Moray Firth about 28 kilometres south-west of the Captain field, and is a structural/stratigraphic trap with a Lower Cretaceous Punt sandstone reservoir objective,” Toronto-listed North Sea Energy said on Friday.

“The forward work programme will focus on further delineation of the Badger prospect and mitigation of the critical risk elements. The nearest oil and gas discovery to the block is the well 13/26-2 (Dee discovery) about 15 km to the south-east.”