- Oil and gas company Faroe Petroleum said the Cassidy exploration well in the Norwegian North Sea had been spudded.

The total expected vertical depth of the well was approximately 3,056 metres, in a water depth of 66 metres, the company said.

Drilling operations would be undertaken using the Mærsk Interceptor rig, and the results would be announced on completion of drilling operations, it added.

'I am pleased to announce the spudding of the Cassidy exploration well situated within tie-back distance of the Oda field, which is on track for first oil in H1 2019. Cassidy offers high value upside for the Oda field development as well as potential to unlock further exploration prospectivity to the north of the Oda field,' said Graham Stewart, CEO.

'Faroe's active exploration programme has delivered two commercial discoveries out of three wells so far this year: Iris Hades in Norway (Faroe's largest discovery to date); and Agar in UK. The programme is continuing over the coming period, with Cassidy and the Brasse East well currently drilling, a further two wells so far committed for drilling in H1 2019, and a steady flow of additional wells being prepared for drilling.'

In a separate statement, Faroe said it had signed an agreement with Equinor to swap its interests in the Njord, Hyme redevelopment and Bauge development assets in return for interests in four production assets on the Norwegian Continental Shelf on a cashless basis.

The four production assets on the Norwegian Continental Shelf included Alve, Marulk, Ringhorne East and Vilje.

The asset swap would accelerate Faroe's targeted production growth adding 7,000-8,000 barrels a day of oil equivalent in in 2019; significantly reduce capital expenditure by eliminating expenditure on the divested assets from 2019; and expands footprint through two new core areas, Alvheim and Norne, the company said.

The transaction was expected to be completed on 1 January 2019, but required consent from the Norwegian authorities, Faroe added.

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