Block 16/3d is located in the Central North Sea and has been awarded as a Traditional Licence to Stratic in partnership with Nippon Oil Exploration & Production U.K. Ltd ("Nippon"). Each party will take a 50% working interest in the block with Stratic as Operator. Blocks 210/18, 210/19a and 210/20a are located in the Northern North Sea and have been awarded under the "Promote License" initiative to the Stratic and Nippon partnership under the same co-venturing arrangement.
Block 16/3d is adjacent to Block 16/2b, awarded to Stratic and Nippon in the 22nd Round in 2004, and to the Brae area development complex in which Nippon is an equity owner. The block contains the Cairngorm discovery, well 16/3a-11, drilled by Marathon in 1990 and which tested light oil at a rate in excess of 2,000 barrels per day from granitic basement. The structure extends into Block 16/2b and represents one of the most exciting but challenging undeveloped discoveries in this area of the North Sea. Further untested potential remains on the structure and the block has been awarded on a firm programme of seismic reprocessing and the option to drill a well within four years. Furthermore, Stratic has now qualified with the UK licensing authorities as an Operator for this block and has fulfilled the Operational and HSE conditions required to undertake the role.
Contiguous Blocks 210/18, 210/19a and 210/20a have been acquired to test the stratigraphic trapping potential of the Upper Jurassic Home Sandstones, which has only been partly tested with the wells drilled in the area to date. The work programme is to acquire seismic data over the area within two years and to commit to drilling an exploratory well within four years or relinquish the blocks at the end of the second year.
Tom Mackay, Stratic's General Manager commented, "we are delighted to have been awarded these blocks and to continue the joint venture relationship with Nippon. In particular, we have reached a milestone in the UK having now received recognition with the Department of Trade and Industry as an exploration operator. The block awards enhance Stratic's North Sea acreage portfolio and exploration strategy based upon the targeted acquisition of under-appraised discoveries and poorly-explored play concepts
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