The license is a geographical extension of License PL501, where operator Lundin and partners Statoil and Maersk Oil made the recent Avaldsnes discovery, into blocks 16/3 and 16/6.

The license holding structure remains the same in this extension in which Maersk Oil has 20% interest while Lundin and statoil has 40% interest each, respectively.

The award enables the licensees to evaluate Avaldsnes and maintain alignment over the wider Avaldsnes area.

The company said that two appraisal wells will be drilled by the partnership in 2011.

Maersk Oil Norway managing director Morten Jeppesen said that the company’s strategy is to grow its business in Norway through exploration activities, participation in licensing rounds and asset acquisitions to build a significant portfolio of exploration and producing assets in the coming years.