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Northern Petroleum CEO Keith Bush. Image courtesy of Northern Petroleum.

UK-based Northern Petroleum won two exploration permits in Italy, the company said Thursday.

The first permit is located in Cascina Alberto, the onshore Po Valley region of the country.

The Cascina permit was formerly held by Eni.

The second permit, C.R149.NP, is offshore in the Sicily Channel, adjacent to the Northern-operated permit C.R146.NP.

This permit will extend Northern’s Vesta prospect, mapped in C.R146.NP.

Northern said the Cascina permit has similarities to the Villafortuna-Trecate oil field, located 15 miles to the southeast of C.R149.NP.

Northern looks to bring new partners into the Sicily Channel permit.

The company also said that the new Sicily Channel permit demonstrates prospects and leads which resemble the recent gas discovers made by Eni in the area.

Northern has 4 operating permits and 11 active permit applications in Italy.

In 2012, Italy lifted much of the offshore ban it instituted after the Deepwater Horizon spill which prohibited drilling within five nautical miles of the Italian coastline and 12 miles of protected zones.

“The award of these permits demonstrates that the administration in Italy is now actively progressing with approvals that have been outstanding for some years,” Northern CEO Keith Bush said.