Norse Energy Corp says the third well in its current Herkimer programme in the US has encountered gas.

This well is expected to come on stream during the first week of January, Norse says in a statement.

"We are very pleased with these early results and look forward to stepping up the pace of Herkimer drilling in 2011," commented CEO Mark Dice.

The first well in the programme had an initial production averaging 1,080 million cubic feet per day in its first 30 days.

The Oslo-listed company is still considering how to pursue with the second well which was temporarily abandoned due to drilling difficulties.

The company plans to continue pipeline expansion to support higher production volumes expected as a result of accelerated Herkimer development.