UK-BASED Hansa Hydrocarbons has been awarded two new exploration licences in the Danish sector of the North Sea under the nation’s seventh licencing round – subject to the approval of the Danish government.

Hansa Hydrocarbons’ chief executive John Martin said the awards, which came during an industry downturn, represented a great opportunity for the company to build its exploration portfolio in a new area.

“We have recognised for some time that offshore Denmark is relatively lightly explored compared to other North Sea sectors, especially given the multiple play types present and the infrequent licensing rounds,” he said.

To that end, the provisional award of Licences 7/16 and 14/16 would represent a significant new opportunity.

Licence 7/16 covers an area of 30,640 hectares down to a depth limit of 1,700 metres and is situated adjacent to the German median line to the south.

Hansa said the exploration objectives were an extension of the late Miocene oil play successfully appraised in 2015 with the Lille John-2 well and side-track by Dana Petroleum.

The firm work program consists of reprocessing existing 3D seismic data, combined with AVO and inversion studies, de-risking prospectivity prior to drilling.

Partners on the licence will be Hansa, with a 50 per cent operating stake, Edison International (30%) and Nordsøfonden (20%).

The licence term is six years with a drill or drop decision at the end of the third year.

Licence 14/16 covers an area of 28,490 hectares and is located on the northernmost margin of the Southern Permian basin on the western limit of the Danish offshore, bounded to the west by the UK median line and to the south by the German median line.

Studies on the field, which is operated by Edison International with a 48% operating stake, show it is likely to have material prospectivity in Jurassic-age oil-prone stratigraphic traps on the flanks of the Mid North Sea High.

The firm work program consists of reprocessing existing 3D seismic data in order to improve the structural definition before deciding to continue exploration activity

The licence term is six years with a decision at the end of the second year to either acquire a new 3D seismic survey or to drill an exploration well.

Hansa will hold a 32% stake in the project while Nordsøfonden will hold 20%.

Mr Martin said he was delighted to work with these companies for the first time.

“The awards are the result of some considerable effort in regional work and once again demonstrate how a small technically focused company can be successful in leveraging knowledge across borders.