UK-based oil and gas exploration and production company Mediterranean Oil & Gas (MOG) has signed a deal with Transunion Petroleum and Nautical Petroleum, to partner Cairn in the exploration of Area 3 Blocks 1, 2 and 3, offshore Malta.

Cairn had signed a three-year Exploration Study Agreement (ESA) with the Government of Malta in December 2012 for Area 3.

Located in the Sicily Channel, the Area 3 covers an area of about 6,000kmĀ² and contains a number of prospective leads.

With an initial period of two years, the ESA will include geological studies, the reprocessing of existing 2D seismic data, the acquisition of new 2D seismic data and limited capital works.

As part of the agreement, the partners will have the right to negotiate a production sharing contract, which can be extended to a third year to acquire 3D seismic.

Melita Exploration Company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of MOG will have a 40% working interest in the ESA as part of the deal.

Cairn will receive 40% of the back costs that have incurred during the preparation of the ESA application and expenditure to date, from Melita, and a payment of $365,000 on completion.