OMV is acquiring the interests from Conoco's British exploration and production affiliate, Conoco (U.K.) Limited, whose chairman and managing director, Dr. George Watkins, CBE, said: "This is an excellent deal for both companies. It expands OMV's interests in U.K. waters while enhancing Conoco's ability to invest still further in its already-significant strategic holdings here." The sale will be effective January 1, with legal completion expected in the second quarter of 2002.
The deal gives OMV a 32.5 percent equity in Blocks 204/14 and 204/15, of which Conoco currently is operator. The blocks, located 84 miles west of the Shetland Islands, contain the bulk of the Suilven reservoir, which BP discovered in 1996 with an exploration well in Block 204/19, immediately to the south.
After winning the unallocated 204/14 and 204/15 blocks in a so-called mini-licensing round in 1997, Conoco drilled two wells proving that Suilven contains both crude oil and natural gas. The entire discovery, in which BP, AGIP and Amerada Hess are the other co-venturers, remains to be unitized.
Conoco acquired its 22.39 percent interest in Block 20/7a, which lies 69 miles northeast of Aberdeen, Scotland, through its acquisition of Saga UK in 2000. Like Suilven, the block, which is operated by Pan Canadian, is not included in Conoco's portfolio of strategic developments and prospects in the U.K.
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