Oil and gas giant BP and Det Norske Oljeselskap have inked an agreement to merge their Norwegian businesses in a $1.3bn (£899.5mn, €1.66bn) share deal, the companies confirmed on Friday.

The merged entity, due to be listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange, will be called Aker BP. The move is expected to bolster Det Norske's standing as Norway's biggest independent operator of oil platforms, behind state-controlled market leader Statoil.

A spokesperson for BP confirmed that a quarterly dividend policy would be introduced by Aker BP, with the first payment expected for the fourth quarter of 2016.

"Any payment would be conditional upon the approval of creditors," the company added.

Commenting on the move, BP group chief executive Bob Dudley said: "BP and Det norske's majority shareholder Aker have matured a close collaboration through decades and we are pleased to take advantage of the industrial expertise of both companies to create a large independent exploration and production company."