Buzzard oil & gas field in the UK North Sea

Dana enters North Sea acreage close to giant Buzzard field

Australia-based Finder Energy has signed farm-out agreements to assign a 40 per cent interest in three licences located in the UK North Sea to Dana Petroleum.

Buzzard oil & gas field in the UK North Sea; Source: CNOOC Petroleum Europe

The licences included in the deal are P2527, P2528, and P2530 and these transactions are conditional on the usual regulatory approvals, which are expected to be obtained within a month.

Finder said in an update on Tuesday that it would retain a 60 per cent interest and operatorship in each of the licences, allowing for secondary farm-outs to secure funding for wells whilst still retaining meaningful levels of participation in any discovery.

Under the transactions, Finder will receive cash payments on completion totalling £1.3 million (about $1.5 million). Dana Petroleum will also contribute its participating interest share of future work program costs on each licence which reduces Finder’s budgeted expenditure. This results in Finder’s forecast cash runway being extended by more than 12 months.

Damon Neaves, Finder CEO, said: “Dana Petroleum’s like-minded exploration strategy, development and production capabilities as well as ownership of proximal North Sea infrastructure makes them a partner of choice for Finder and demonstrates the significant potential for further value-accretive deals from our ILX strategy.”

Neaves added: “These three deals represent a significant expansion of our mutual aspirations in the North Sea, with a focus on prospectivity around the giant Buzzard oil field.”

Finder Energy entered the P2527 licence, which is close to the Buzzard field, earlier this year through a deal with Talon Energy.

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Dana is an existing joint venture partner of Finder in P2502 in the East Shetland Basin and these latest transactions represent a significant expansion of Finder’s partnership with Dana with a focus on pursuing prospectivity in the area of the giant Buzzard oil field.

Finder has licensed modern 3D seismic datasets and recently completed two major high-end PSDM-FWI 3D reprocessing projects over P2527, P2528, and P2530, called the ‘Big Buzz’ and ‘Big Bird’ 3D Repro Projects. The results of the reprocessed datasets have exceeded Finder’s expectations with both showing significant improvement in imaging at the target objectives. Interpretation and prospect generation on the new data is underway.

Location map showing P2527, P2528 & P2530 - North Sea
Location map showing P2527, P2528 & P2530; Source: Finder Energy

Within P2527 and P2528 the Upper Jurassic sandstones form the key objectives for stratigraphic traps identified on the vintage 3D datasets. These are the same as the productive reservoirs of the giant Buzzard oil field (with reserves of over 1 billion barrels). The Big Buzz reprocessing project took 4 vintage 3D surveys through a high-end processing flow to produce a final merged contiguous dataset over both licenses and surrounding analogous oil fields.

Licence P2530 is located within the North Kittiwake Basin and is surrounded by the giant Forties and Nelson fields to the north, and the Kittiwake and Gannet fields to the south. The key play level in the licence is the Upper Jurassic Fulmar Sandstones which are a proven and highly prolific reservoir in many nearby oil fields. Prospectivity is focussed within the Jurassic syn-rift depocenters and is associated with both salt-cored highs and adjacent mini-basins.

Multiple opportunities are currently identified, including historical discoveries, combination structural stratigraphic traps and four-way dip features. Interpretation and prospect generation on the new Big Bird data is underway to better understand prospective resources and risking.

Following the interpretation of the new Big Buzz and Big Bird reprocessed data, Finder will begin a secondary farm-out process in the new year aimed at securing partners and funding to drill the key prospect(s) that emerge from its evaluation of these datasets.