Norwegian oil and gas operator DNO has agreed to acquire rival Origo Exploration for an undisclosed sum, to mark its return to the Norwegian Continental Shelf.

Origo Exploration, which was founded in 2014, is a privately-held oil and gas exploration company with operations in offshore Norway and the UK. It was formed by private equity-funded exploration companies, Revus Energy and Agora Oil & Gas.

On the other hand, DNO has been focused on the Middle East and North Africa reserves.

The acquisition will give DNO collect interests in 11 exploration and appraisal licenses in the North Sea.

Seven of these licenses are on the Norwegian continental shelf while the remainder of them located on the UK continental shelf.

Origo’s management and staff will be retained and so will be its headquarters located in Stavanger, Norway post acquisition.

The company will be rebranded as DNO Norge after the completion of the transaction which is subject to regulatory approval.

DNO executive chairman Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani said: "Origo presented a unique and timely opportunity to partner with an experienced team with a strong record of exploration success and value creation.

"We are now positioned to pursue further asset acquisitions and, importantly, to compete in future exploration bid rounds offshore Norway."

Under the terms of the transaction, DNO has assumed the drilling commitments and license obligations of Origo with an effective date of 31 March 2017, after making certain adjustments in the working capital.

In the six-year gap of leaving offshore Norway, DNO had established a footprint in the Middle East led by its operated flagship project in the Tawke field located in Iraq’s Kurdistan region.

Earlier in the year, DNO discovered oil in the Cretaceous horizon during the drilling of the Peshkabir-2 well in Kurdistan.

Image: Origo has a 35% operating interest in UKCS licence P1982 as of November 2016. Photo: courtesy of Origo Exploration Norway AS.