CAIRN Energy has reported that drilling on a “wildcat” well in the Norwegian Sea, part of a prospect in which the company holds a 40 per cent stake, has encountered no traces of petroleum.

Edinburgh-based Cairn confirmed the well, located around 13 kilometres north-east of the Norne field and 200km west of Sandnessjøen, was dry via a stock market statement pointing investors to a report by the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate.

Cairn holds its working interest in the licence area, which contains the Godalen prospect, through Capricorn Norge AS, its wholly-owned subsidiary.

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The development follows a reverse suffered by Cairn off Norway last month, when the local authorities announced that a wildcat well the Scottish firm drilled on the Lynghaug prospect was dry. Cairn had noted it January that the wells it planned to off Norway and the U K this year would target material prospects.

Shares closed down 2p, or 1.35%, at 146p.

Meanwhile, Cluff Natural Resources reported to the stock market that Shell has commenced a 3D seismic survey on the Pensacola Prospect in the Southern North Sea. Cluff, which holds a 30 per cent non-operated interest in licence P2252, said the work represents its first field operations.

The company noted that the seismic work will be followed by a period of data processing, with the final results expected to be delivered early in the third quarter of 2020.

Chief executive Graham Swindells said the survey is “clearly an important milestone” as the firm bids to become a leading exploration player operating in the UK Continental Shelf.

Shares in Cluff closed down 4.55% at 1.57p.