Premier Oil Gets Offshore Blocks Near Tolmount, Catcher Fields

UK-based oil and gas company has won three offshore licenses as part of the UK’s 32nd Offshore Licensing Round. The round offered for award 113 license areas over 259 blocks or part-blocks to 65 companies.

Premier Oil said that the blocks awarded were near its operated assets, the producing Catcher oil field, and the under-development Tolmount field area.

Premier was awarded a 50 percent operated stake in Blocks 42/28e and 42/29b in the license directly to the east of the Tolmount FDA and a 50 percent non-operated stake in Blocks 42/27, 47/2b, and 47/3g in the license immediately to the west of the Tolmount FDA.  

Dana is Premier’s 50 percent partner in the two licenses and the operator of Blocks 42/27, 47/2b and 47/3g.

“The 3D seismic data acquired across the Greater Tolmount Area in 2019 covered a significant area across the awarded adjacent licenses.  The final processed data from that survey was received in Q2 this year and Premier is now maturing a number of leads and prospects previously identified on the new blocks which, in the success case, could be developed via the Tolmount infrastructure,” Premier Oil said.

Premier, together with its joint venture partners, Cairn, MOL and Dyas, was awarded Block 28/9f adjacent to its Catcher Area fields.

“Block 28/9f contains the Cougar and Rapide prospects, which are being evaluated as potential tie-backs to the Catcher Area facilities,” the company said, adding there are were no drilling commitments associated with these awards.

Dean Griffin, Head of Exploration, commented: “We are delighted to have been awarded the block next to our Catcher Area fields as well as the blocks adjacent to the Tolmount field, given our pre-investment in the extended 3D survey there.  These awards provide significant opportunities to create value and to extend the life of these core assets.”

Premier Oil’s UKCS assets – Credit: Premier Oil

Jersey Oil & Gas

Separately, another UK-focused firm Jersey Oil & Gas said it won a 100% working interest in, and operatorship of, part-block 20/5e. Part-block 20/5e is located within JOG’s existing Greater Buchan Area (“GBA”) development acreage and contains an extension of the J2 (well 20/05a-10Y) oil discovery.

“JOG understands that this part-block will be incorporated within Licence P2498 (Blocks 20/5a & 21/1a) awarded to JOG in the OGA’s 31st Offshore Supplementary Licensing Round, which contains the Buchan oil field and the J2 oil discovery and forms the basis of JOG’s proposed GBA development plans,” the company said.

Andrew Benitz, CEO of Jersey Oil & Gas, commented: “I am pleased that JOG has been awarded part-block 20/5e, which represents a further step towards delivering on our strategy of progressing the proposed future development of  the Greater Buchan Area.”

Pause on new licensing; Review launched

The offshore licensing round offered blocks in mature, producing areas close to existing infrastructure, under the flexible terms of the Innovate Licence.

According to the OGA, this enables applicants to define a license duration and phasing that will allow them to execute the optimal work program. 

The majority of the licenses will enter the Initial Term (Phase A or Phase B exploration stage), and 16 of the awards are for licenses that will proceed straight to Second Term, either for potential developments, or re-developments of fields where production had ceased and the acreage had been relinquished.

The OGA said that it was taking a temporary pause from annual license round activity and will not run a licensing round in what would have been the 2020/21 period.

“This will allow relinquishments to take place so more coherent areas may be reoffered in future, giving the industry time to deliver on work commitments in the existing portfolio of licenses,” it said.

Also on Thursday, the UK Government said it would review its policy on the future UK offshore oil and gas licensing regime as part of the wider aim of the country towards achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.