Aussie juniors wade further into North Sea

NORTH Sea explorers Sunshine Gas and Norwest Energy have picked up new offshore exploration acreage from the 24th UK Seaward Licensing Round.
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Sunshine Gas and its UK-operator Hurricane Exploration were awarded a further five frontier offshore blocks west of Shetlands, an extension to their existing nine blocks won in 2005.

“The award of these five blocks further strengthens the joint venture’s acreage position within this highly prospective oil province,” Sunshine managing director Tony Gilby said.

“These assets will continue to provide shareholders with exposure to large oil discoveries in an area with increasing industry focus.”

Under the terms of the award, the Hurricane-led JV is required to shoot 2D seismic as well reprocess 3D seismic over the area of interest.

Norwest builds its UK base

Meanwhile, Norwest Energy’s subsidiary New Southern Cross was awarded a new licence in the Southern Gas Basin, next door to permit P1350 where the company has a 50% interest.

Norwest said both blocks were on trend with, and updip, of the Amethyst gas field, which has 735 billion cubic feet of reserves and has been in production since 1991.

The newly awarded Block 47/7 lies between the Easington and Dimlington gas terminals, onshore Yorkshire, and the Rough gas field now used for gas storage. As a result, up to six pipeline delivery routes cross the block, according to Norwest.

In addition, the licence is covered by a modern grid of 2D seismic data, which Norwest is obliged to reprocess and interpret within the next two years before deciding whether to drill a well in the second two-year term.

The company will hold a half-stake in the new licence in partnership with London-based Encore Oil.

Norwest chief executive Joe Salomon said his company was working to make the UK a significant part of its overall business.

“We see the UK as a good place to be doing business,” he said.

“The North Sea is a mature petroleum province, the Government ensures that data is readily and very cheaply available and all indications are that there are many more discoveries yet to be made.”