Tullow Awarded 5 North Sea Offshore Production Licenses
Tullow Oil has been awarded five Seaward Production Licenses on the United Kingdom Continental Shelf ("UKCS"). The license awards, announced by the Minister for Industry and Energy, Brian Wilson, last week comprise a total of seven UKCS blocks or part blocks, totaling approximately 340 square kilometers net to Tullow. It represents one hundred percent success for the applications made in this competitive license round.
Six of the blocks are in the Southern Gas Basin in close proximity to the Caister Murdoch System ("CMS") infrastructure in which the company has a significant interest. There are undeveloped gas discoveries on two of the blocks, and a number of significant exploration leads, all of which offer the potential for early commercial production through CMS, in the case of exploration or appraisal success. The work programs allow for the reprocessing of existing 3-D seismic data or the acquisition of new 3-D surveys, with the option to drill or drop the acreage after the data has been thoroughly assessed.
The seventh block is located in the prolific Central North Sea/Outer Moray Firth oil province. This is in partnership with the operator of the Buzzard field, the largest North Sea discovery for a number of years. This represents Tullow's first acreage in this area and the block has been awarded on a similar work program to the other blocks.
Aidan Heavey, Managing Director, Tullow Oil, said: "We are delighted with this major award of very prospective acreage, which marks a significant step in capitalizing on the success of our purchase of the BP/ARCO assets, completed last year. It fits well with our strategy of growth from around our core areas of North Sea infrastructure. It also gives us our first opportunity to expand into the oil province of the Central North Sea. We look forward to an exciting exploration and appraisal program."