ConocoPhillips and Suncor Energy will join Shell as joint venture partners on its Shelburne Basin Venture Exploration Program off Nova Scotia, Canada. Shell launched the program in 2013 and has said that drilling could begin in late 2015.
The agreement reached between the three companies involves Shell farming down non-operated equity in its Shelburne Exploration Licenses off Nova Scotia. Shell will maintain a 50% stake and remain operator. ConocoPhillips will acquire a 30% stake while Suncor will acquire a 20% stake.
Shell holds exploration rights on six offshore licenses, including four deep-water blocks and two in shallower water in the Shelburne Basin. The licenses (ELs 2423, 2424, 2425, 2426, 2429 and 2430) cover a contiguous area of 19,845 sq km about 300 km off Nova Scotia, in water depths of between 500m and 3,500m.
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