Dana is drilling the well near the Captain Field, which is estimated to hold an average plateau rate of 85,000 barrels per day.

The company is drilling the well targeting the Magnolia prospect in block 13/23a, which comprises of early Cretaceous sandstones.

The well is expected to reach total depth in four weeks time.

Dana Petroleum UK managing director Paul Griffin said the Magnolia prospect features an important milestone in the company’s UK exploration program for 2013.

"It will also help us gain valuable experience working with the Ocean Nomad," Griffin added.

The company is using the Ocean Nomad drilling rig, which is managed by Senergy to spud the well.

The rig will also be used for development drilling on the Dana’s $1.6bn Western Isles project later in 2013.

Dana has drilled the second well in the North Sea in 2013.