Under the terms of the farm-out agreement, BPCL and TPL will each pay 40% of the costs of drilling an appraisal/development well on the 48/2-1 discovery, originally drilled by Amoco in 1984, up to a total gross cost of US$23 million. The well is expected to be drilled in 2008.
The farm-in to Blocks 48/1b and 48/2c marks the entry of BPCL and TPL into the UK North Sea oil and gas sector. BPCL is a leading Indian downstream company with primary interests in the refining and marketing of petroleum, and has recently moved into upstream activities, with interests in exploration blocks in India, Oman and Australia. BPCL is part-owned by the Government of India (66%). TPL, a subsidiary of Tata Sons Ltd, is primarily involved in the exploration of crude oil and natural gas with interests in three Indian oil and gas blocks. The Tata organisation is the largest business group in India, and recently acquired the Anglo-Dutch group Corus for $11.3 billion.
This agreement is subject to the usual regulatory consents, including DTI consent.
Alan Booth, EnCore's Chief Executive Officer, said:
"We are especially pleased to be entering into this new partnership with BPCL and TPL, both well established and highly respected Indian corporations. With this partnership, we look forward to re-drilling the 48/2-1 discovery. We believe the use of modern drilling techniques could unlock the commercial potential of this license, as has been recently demonstrated by drilling in nearby blocks."
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