Dana Petroleum Snags Interests in 29 UK Offshore Blocks

Dana Petroleum has been successful in its extensive recent applications for new UKCS offshore blocks. The UK Energy Ministry has confirmed that the Company is being offered 11 new licenses, comprising interests in a total of 29 offshore blocks or part-blocks, as part of the UK Government's 25th Offshore Licensing Round.

Dana's first license award covers 3 blocks in the important Rinnes oil area of the Northern North Sea where Dana will hold a 100% interest. The work program consists of obtaining and reprocessing seismic data with a well contingent on the results of this work. This award is in a key growth area for Dana following the success of the West Rinnes and East Rinnes oil discoveries earlier in 2008. The award is particularly timely ahead of the forthcoming Rinnes South-East and South-West wells, the first of which is due to start drilling in December.

A further three licenses comprise 16 blocks which lie in the prospective West of Shetland region. These awards build on Dana's position in this proven petroleum province, which complements its awards in previous rounds and its stake in Faroe Petroleum plc where Dana is the largest shareholder with 27.2%. Two of these licenses cover 14 blocks in Quads 208 and 209 of the Faroe-Shetland Basin. Dana has been awarded a material 30% stake with co-venturers DONG (UK) Limited (40%) and GDF Britain (30%), who are Dana's co-venturers in neighboring blocks.

The committed work program for this acreage consists of acquiring 3D seismic, contiguous with data acquired by the partnership group earlier this year. The other West of Shetland license comprises interests in 2 blocks in Quad 205, with co-venturer Nexen UK Limited, where the committed work program consists of obtaining and reprocessing 3D seismic data.

The other licenses awarded to Dana are as follows:

  • 50% interest, with Dana as operator, in two licenses comprising 2 blocks in the Greater Kittiwake oil producing area of the Central North Sea,
  • 100% interest in Block 16/12b, in the Central North Sea close to the producing Enoch oil field (Dana 8.8%),
  • 25% interest in Block 22/29a (part), with Maersk Oil and Gas UK as operator, of the Central North Sea, which has a firm well commitment on a Forties-age prospect,
  • 100% interest in a license comprising Blocks 47/4d and 47/5b in the Southern North Sea adjacent to existing Dana acreage, and
  • 50% interest in 2 licenses comprising 4 blocks, operated by E.On-Ruhrgas UK Limited, adjacent to the producing Johnston gas field, which Dana and E.On jointly own.

Commenting on the news, Tom Cross, Dana's Chief Executive, said, "These are very significant awards, positioning Dana to build upon its successful track-record of UK exploration activity which continues to deliver additional oil and gas reserves for the Company. The blocks awarded are focused on Dana's core areas within the Northern, Central and Southern North Sea and the West of Shetland region. These awards demonstrate Dana's ongoing commitment to the UK as part of its international portfolio."

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