British oil explorer Nautical Petroleum has signed an agreement with Statoil to sell a 20.67% interest in the UK offshore license P355, Block 9/11a, which contains the Mariner discovery.

Norway-based Statoil will pay total consideration of £87.5m for the interest and associated rights, plus a maximum £3m carry of Nautical’s cost through to final investment decision, which is expected within 1-2 years.

Following completion of the transaction, Nautical’s interest in the offshore license will be 6%, and the transaction is pending approval from the joint venture partners in the block and the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change.

The interest in the license was acquired by Nautical in 2005 through the corporate acquisition of Alba Resources.

Funds generated from the sale will be used to support the planned Kraken and Catcher developments and accelerate other exploration and appraisal opportunities within Nautical’s portfolio.