Ithaca Awarded Two Blocks in 27th Licensing Round

UK-focused Ithaca Energy is the latest oil and gas explorer to announce details of offers made to it by the UK government in the country's 27th Offshore Licensing Round. Meanwhile, in the Far East four Japanese companies announced details of their own offers in the UK licensing round.

Ithaca reported Monday that it has been awarded two operated licenses: block 29/5d in the vicinity of the company's existing Greater Stella Area interests; and block 15/17b in the Outer Moray Firth. The license offers depend on the completion of technical studies, leading to a drill or drop decision on each license within two years of their formal award.

Block 29/5d will be operated by Ithaca with 54.66-percent holding, while Dyas UK and Petrofac Energy Developments will have interests of 25.34 percent and 20 percent respectively.

"I am delighted that the company's existing asset portfolio is expanding with two such promising license awards. These licenses enable the company to further increase its GSA stock of opportunities for the FPF-1 production hub and to establish a new foothold in a prolific area of the Outer Moray Firth," Ithaca Chief Technical Officer Nick Muir said in a statement.

"The company looks forward to driving forward these opportunities and building upon the successes of previous license round awards from which it has generated significant value, namely the appraisal and development of the now producing Jacky and Athena fields and the recently appraised Hurricane discovery."

Meanwhile, Dow Jones Newswires reported Monday that four Japanese companies have announced details of the stakes they have been offered in several energy exploration blocks in the North Sea as part of the round.

JX Nippon Oil & Gas Exploration Corp. won stakes in 18 blocks and will be the operator of five of them. Idemitsu Kosan Co. won stakes in eight blocks, while Inpex Corp. and Sumitomo Corp. each won stakes in three blocks, reported Dow Jones.

Oil and gas majors offered blocks in the licensing round include BG Group, BP, ConocoPhilips, Royal Dutch Shell, Statoil and Total, while several smaller explorers also provided details of their offers Friday

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


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