Danish state run  Nordsøfonden is now a full partner in the Danish Underground Consortium operated by Maersk Oil.

From today Nordsøfonden takes up its 20% share in all licences on the Danish shelf held by DUC, which comprises Maersk Oil with Shell, and Chevron. Each of the three operating companies have reduced their equity in DUC to accommodate their new partner, under an agreement which was signed in 2003.

“Nordsøfonden will be a true partner,” said said Jakob Thomasen, chief executive of Maersk Oil. “It will contribute to and receive benefits from the DUC according to its 20% working interest. It is taking the role as an active company operating on a commercial basis and rationale.”

Maerk’s equity in DUC reduces to 31.2%, Shell’s to 36.8% and Chevron’s to 12% in order to accommodate Nordsøfonden in the consortium.

Nordsøfonden’s chief executive Peter Helmer Steen had pledged that his group will be a full partner, working to increase oil and gas recovery from the Danish Continental Shelf. “From a 30 year perspective, I see a huge potential for increased production from both existing fields and new fields, and the new DUC group has a wide range of challenging production enhancing projects ahead,” he added.

Currently DUC produces from 16 fields, with total output of 180,000 b/d of oil and 14 Mcm/d of gas.