Faroe Petroleum Plc (LON:FPM), the oil and gas company working on exploration, appraisal and undeveloped field opportunities in the Atlantic margin, the North Sea and Norway, said this morning that drilling operations have started on the Anne Marie prospect, located offshore, the Faroe Islands. Faroe has a 12.5% interest in the venture, together with the operator Eni Denmark BV with a 30%, Dana Petroleum Plc (LON:DNX), which holds 25%, OMV with 20% and CIECO with 12.5%.

The commitment well (6004/8a-1) is located in 1,106m of water depth, 190km south east of Torshavn, targeting potentially oil bearing sandstone of Eocene and Palaeocene age in a structural trap. The well is being drilled by the Norwegian semi-submersible rig Seadrill West Phoenix, which is expected to remain in operation for about 75 days.

Graham Stewart, Faroe’s chief executive, commented: “We are pleased to announce the spudding of this important and high impact exploration well on the first licence awarded to the company in 2000 under the First Faroese Licensing Round. This is the first of three 2010 exploration wells to be drilled in the deep water Atlantic margin, all of which are targeting substantial oil prospects. The second and third wells, operated by BP and Chevron respectively, will be in UK waters, targeting the North Uist/Cardhu and Lagavulin prospects.”

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