UK Firms Faroe and Valiant Bag 8 Licenses in Norway

UK-based oil explorers Faroe Petroleum and Valiant Petroleum announced details Wednesday of the licenses they have been awarded in the 2011 Norwegian APA License Round.

Faroe reported Wednesday that it was awarded rights to seven new prospective license areas on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.
 
These included two licenses in the Norwegian Sea: License PL645, known as 'Novus', where Faroe Petroeum will be the operator and own 50 percent of the license (Centrica and Skagen 44 holding 40 percent and 10 percent respectively); and License PL644, known as 'Aerosmith', where OMV will be the operator with 30 percent of  the license and Faroe will hold 20 percent.
 
In the Northern North Sea, Faroe will hold 20 percent in each of the PL414B ('Oksen'), PL627 ('Shango') and PL629 ('Darling') licenses, in which a number of other companies – including Bayerngas, Bridge Energy, Centrica, Concedo, Det Norske, Noreco and Total – also have interests.
 
In the Egersund Basin of the North Sea, Faroe will be the operator on two licenses: License PL621 ('Epsilon'), where it will hold 75 percent with Noreco holding the remaining 25 percent; and License PL620 ('Lola'), where it will hold 50 percent and Noreco and Edison will hold 25 percent respectively.
 
"Faroe Petroleum is very pleased to have been awarded seven prospective exploration licenses in the 2011 Norwegian APA licensing round," said Faroe's chief executive Graham Stewart.  "Winning these licenses in such a highly competitive round is real testament to the skills and creativity of the technical team we have in place and the continuing success we have delivered with the drill bit across our Norwegian license areas."
 
London-based investment bank Westhouse Securities commented, "Faroe Petroleum appears to have done particularly well in this latest APA license award and, as a result, now possesses a material footprint on the [Norwegian Continental Shelf] and an exploration inventory to match some of the oil majors in the province."
 
Also on Wednesday, fellow UK-based firm Valiant announced that its subsidiary Valiant Petroleum Norge was awarded the operatorship and a 50-percent interest in License PL617 (Block 2/9 on the Norwegian Continental Shelf), with other partners in the license being Premier Oil Norge (35 percent) and Bridge Energy Norge (15 percent). Valiant said that the work commitment includes the purchase of existing 3D seismic and a drill or drop decision on the block within two years.
 
"Valiant is extremely pleased to have been awarded its first operated block in Norway following entry into the country less than six months ago. We look forward to working together with our partners to firm up the prospects identified on the block," said Valiant chief executive officer Peter Buchanan.

A former engineer, Jon is an award-winning editor who has covered the technology, engineering and energy sectors since the mid-1990s. Email Jon at jmainwaring@rigzone.com

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