Australian firm gets its hands on two licenses in UK’s 33rd oil & gas round

The UK regulator, North Sea Transit Authority (NSTA), has offered Finder Energy, a Perth-based oil and gas exploration player, two licenses in the final tranche of Britain’s 33rd offshore licensing round.

Finder Energy's existing licenses in the UK North Sea; Source: Finder Energy

The first license lies between the Australian company’s P2528 and P2527 licenses in the Ettrick sub-basin, near the giant Buzzard and Golden Eagle oil fields. The Ettrick and Blackbird depleted oil fields, which produced nearly 35 million barrels, are located within the license.

Finder Energy, which is set to hold a 60% interest, will be the operator of the license, with the remaining interest held by its co-bidder, Dana Petroleum, the firm’s partner in three other Central North Sea licenses. The Australian player intends to assess the license’s prospectivity using the Big Buzz 3D data it recently reprocessed, which covers the license.

The second license, in which the company will hold a 100% interest, is located in the northern part of the South Halibut Shelf. The scope of work at the license will entail high-end seismic reprocessing, similar to the recent Big Buzz project. 

The reprocessing is meant to derisk several identified Upper Jurassic prospects, similar in age to the nearby oil fields. The Australian firm plans to share further details on activities and strategy in the following weeks after the awards have been accepted and regulatory and joint venture arrangements finalized.

Source: Finder Energy

The most recent phase of the UK’s 33rd oil and gas licensing round, which opened in October 2022, included 31 more licenses, bringing the total number of licenses offered in the first, second, and third tranches to 82.

According to Offshore Energies UK (OEUK), the latest awards are expected to boost energy security and business confidence across the UK’s offshore energy sectors.

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