UK DTI Announces the 5th UK Fallow Assets Release

The Department of Trade and Industry and its partners in PILOT are publishing a new listing of Fallow Blocks and Discoveries.

This fifth release has added 17 Fallow Discoveries and 109 new Fallow Blocks to the list, for a total of 83 Fallow Discoveries and 151 Fallow Blocks. The Class B Fallow Blocks must have significant activity planned within one year of release or be relinquished. For Fallow Discoveries, licensees or a third party have two years from publication to come forward with plans for significant activity.

There are 151 fallow B blocks publicized, which includes 42 that were previously listed on the LIFT website and must have significant activity planned or be relinquished in March or May of 2004. Many of the new 109 blocks added to the release list have producing fields on the block, but it is the area outside of the field that now needs significant activity, or relinquishment back to the field area. 102 of the 151 total Fallow Blocks were licensed before the 5th Round.

Since the PILOT Fallow process began in 2002, 8 exploration or appraisal wells targeting prospects on fallow class B blocks have been drilled (15/30-12, 16/28-17, 22/05b-A12, 3/03-12, 48/10a-12, 49/20b-5z, 49/29a-10 and 53/2-11). As a result of this drilling, the Seymour (22/05b-A12) Field began producing condensate in March 2003, Caravel (49/20b-5Z) and Arthur (53/2-11) Fields are being developed, and "Annabel" (48/10a-12) and "Farragon" (16/28-17) have been announced as discoveries.

An additional 14 exploration or appraisal wells have been drilled on blocks which were reviewed with licensees as part of the Fallow process, but were classed as A (doing all that can be expected) or M (given a moratorium following a change of Operator) These include 14/18a-14, 15/13a-7Z, 15/22-16, 20/7a-4, 22/01a-11, 22/30b-A9, 30/19a-7, 30/6-4X, 48/16b-2, 49/11a-9, 49/26-29, 49/2a-5, 49/9a-7 and 211/23a-A64Z. Blocks with new exploration or appraisal wells are not fallow in the process for four years.

Since 2002, 38 fallow blocks have been relinquished, and all but the Irish Sea and Cardigan Bay blocks could be available for licensing in the 22nd Round. They include 3/27a, 9/18c, 16/3d, 16/6a (partial relinquishment), 16/7c, 20/2b, 20/5b, 22/22c, 23/26c, 29/20b, 42/28c, 42/28d, 44/27b, 44/27c, 47/9c, 47/24a, 48/16c, 49/2c, 49/3a, 49/29c, 106/24, 106/25, 106/30a, 110/7b, 110/12a, 110/12b, 204/22a, 204/23a, 204/30a, 205/16b, 205/17b, 208/11, 208/12a, 210/25d, 210/25e, 213/28a, 213/29a, 214/22a. Six additional blocks have already been re-licensed in the 21st Round.

Since 2002, six new proprietary seismic surveys have been acquired, making 10 fallow blocks not fallow for four years from start of acquisition. 27 blocks are classed as Fallow A because field developments have been approved on block (Nuggets, Cromarty, Braemar, Trees fields, Sycamore, Wollaston, Minerva, Artemis & Apollo, Rose, Carrack, Calder, Clair and the Penguin Fields). The area surrounding these fields will become potentially class B one year after production begins.

Fallow Discoveries
There are 82 fallow B Discoveries on the listings publicized, which include 65 that were previously released on the LIFT website. The 17 new Fallow Discoveries do not include Fallow Discoveries with more than one associated appraisal well as of 31st December 2003. However these will now be introduced by the Operators into the Fallow Discoveries process in a steady progression over the period 2004 to 2006 inclusive following further industry consultation. Subsequent discoveries with more than one associated appraisal well will be incorporated into the Fallow Discoveries process in the year that they become fallow.

Seventeen undeveloped discoveries are not included in the process because they are now on open acreage, including 11/24- 1, 15/07- 1, 15/21b- 45, 20/03- 4, 21/17- 3, 21/17- 4, 22/02- 2, 22/08a- 2, 22/22c- 3Z, 22/24b- 8, 47/09b- 4, 48/02b- 3, 48/22- 4, 49/10b- 3, 110/8a- 5, 110/12a- 1, 210/25c- 6A. All but the two in the Irish Sea may be available for licensing in the 22nd Round.

Since 2002, ten discoveries are no longer classed as Fallow B because they have had new dedicated seismic, and a further eight discoveries have had appraisal drilling. Thirteen discoveries are no longer fallow because they are included in development plans approved by the DTI or are part of fields now in production. These include Broom, Nuggets N4, Goldeneye, Braemar, Sycamore, Caledonia, Madoes, Mirren, Scoter, Wollaston, Carrack, Bains and Calder Fields.

Further Information
Anyone interested in a particular asset should initially approach the named contact (normally the Operator), but may also approach partners to see if they are interested in a plan for significant activity, which can then be put to the DTI.
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