Magellan Petroleum Corporation reported that the Company's wholly-owned subsidiary, Magellan Petroleum Australia Limited (MPAL) announced that it has been successful in its bidding for Petroleum Exploration and Development Licenses (PEDLs) under the 13th UK Landward Licensing Round.
MPAL and its joint venturers will be offered seven PEDLs in the Weald and Wessex Basins of southern England, six of which will be operated by Magellan. Magellan will operate PEDLs 231, 232, 234 and 243 with a 50% share, while the other 50% of each will be owned by Celtique Energy. PEDL 240 will be operated by Northern Petroleum, which owns a 62.5% share; the rest is owned by Magellan with 22.5%, Encore with 7.5%, Montrose Industries with 5% and Oil and Gas Investments with 2.5 %. PEDLS 242 and 246 will be owned and operated entirely by Magellan.
The Secretary of State for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform announced on May 28 that 97 PEDLs would be offered to 54 applicants under the licensing round; a positive outcome that confirms the continuing commercial attractiveness of onshore oil and gas exploration opportunities in the UK.
Magellan already holds interests ranging from 22.5% to 100% in 11 PEDLs across southern England where it is actively exploring in the oil and gas producing Weald and Wessex Basins. The additional seven PEDLs make Magellan the largest acreage holder in the Weald Basin and confirm the Weald-Wessex Basin as a core exploration area for Magellan.
The Company recently announced that the PEDL 126 Joint Venture had received planning approval to drill the Markwells Wood-1 exploration well at a site to the north of Forestside in West Sussex, which will target a prospect that is interpreted to be an eastward extension of the currently producing Horndean oil field. Site construction for Markwells Wood-1 is anticipated to commence later this year, with drilling to take place shortly thereafter.
Three of the current licenses (PEDLs 135, 136 and 137) are held and operated by Magellan with a 100% interest, and planning approval for drilling two prospects identified in PEDL 135 and PEDL 137 in 2009 has commenced.
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