Angus Energy Plc has agreed to acquire a 25% interest in Cuadrilla Resources Ltd.'s U.K. license for onshore oil exploration at the Balcombe Field discovery in West Sussex, shale oil and gas developer Cuadrilla said Jan. 22.

The terms of the new joint venture agreement weren't disclosed.

"This agreement will enable the testing works of the existing well to be undertaken in a timely way and to the highest standards, whilst we continue to also focus on our shale gas operations in the North West," said Francis Egan, CEO of Cuadrilla.

Cuadrilla received approval to flow test and monitor an existing horizontal exploration well at the Lower Stumble site in the Balcombe Field this month. As part of the agreement, Angus Energy will pay the costs of the well test program.

All operations will be performed through conventional production. No hydraulic fracturing is needed as the rock is already naturally fractured, according to the company press release.

The acquisition is subject to U.K. regulatory consent.