A NORTH Sea focused oil business has said it has agreed a farm-out deal for the Carra prospect east of Aberdeen.

Orcadian Energy announced it concluded the arrangement with Carrick Resources Limited for the prospect which is estimated to contain about 30 million barrels. The firm agreed heads of terms regarding a deal for Carrick Resources to buy in to acreage containing Carra last year.

Under the terms of the current agreement, the consideration for the transfer of the Carra interest will be met by the reaching of certain work milestones, with no cash involved. Carrick will review existing data currently being reprocessed by remapping the prospect.

In return, on completion of the updated mapping, Orcadian will assign a 50 per cent interest in the sub-area of prospect licence, which contains the bulk of the Carra prospect, to Carrick.

Carrick has agreed that after the transfer, it will then work up the Carra prospect to drill-ready status and manage a further farm-out process on the prospect.

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Orcadian said it is building upon the long experience of the Carrick team in the area and is "maximising the potential" of the undrilled prospect by entering into the link-up with Carrick.

Orcadian said Carrick may withdraw from the agreement prior to completion of the remapping of the prospect, which is expected to take four months.

Carra is a prospect on which Orcadian has undertaken no exploration activities, there is no turnover or profits attributable to the Carra sub-area. It lies to the East of the Crinan and Dandy discoveries and to the South of Fyne.

Steve Brown, Orcadian chief executive, said: "We are delighted to have signed the SPA [agreement] with Carrick. This SPA enables us to further de-risk and maximise value from our assets in a very cost-effective way while developing a drill ready prospect on Carra.

"Progressing Pilot and the prospects close to it remains our core focus whilst we continue to extract the maximum value on all our assets. We look forward to working with the Carrick team progressing Carra."

Murray Chancellor, Carrick Resources managing director, said earlier there is still interest in undeveloped finds, despite calls by some campaigners for a curb on oil and gas activity.

Orcadian shares closed at 33p, up almost 5%, or 1.5p.