UK-based GDF SUEZ E&P UK and E.ON E&P UK has signed an agreement, under which E.ON will buy a 25% interest in the Austen oil field, which was formerly called Jacqui field, in the Central North Sea.

As part of the deal, GDF SUEZ E&P UK will retain a 75% interest and operatorship of the development, which is situated in licence P.1823, Block 30/13b.

The agreement, which is subject to Department of Energy and Climate Change approval, will allow the partners to speed up the development of the Austen discoveries.

The latest deal has been reached following a successful appraisal drilling in 2012 and as the field moves into the concept selection stage.

The stage will identify development and export options for one of GDF SUEZ E&P UK’s major operated assets.

As part of the 26th UK Offshore Licensing Round in 2011, GDF SUEZ E&P UK acquired the licence containing the Austen discovery, which is located in the East Central Graben area.