Greater Buchan Area concept; Source: Jersey Oil & Gas

Jersey adds new board members with expertise to complete North Sea project farm-out

UK-based oil and gas company Jersey Oil & Gas (JOG) has appointed new members to its board, which are expected to possess the expertise required to complete the farm-out process for the Greater Buchan Area (GBA) development project in the North Sea and expedite the company’s growth plans.

Greater Buchan Area concept; Source: Jersey Oil & Gas

The firm reported on certain changes to the composition of its board of directors on Monday. The announcement entailed a senior management appointment along with an update on the GBA farm-out process on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS).

Jersey confirmed that Les Thomas – previously a non-executive director – had assumed the role of non-executive chairman, while Graham Forbes, a former chief financial officer (CFO) at Ithaca Energy from 2010 to 2020, was appointed as CFO. The company also stated that Richard Smith – a corporate development director and chief commercial officer (CCO) at Ithaca Energy from 2010 to 2020 – had joined the senior management team as Jersey’s new CCO.

Marcus Stanton, former Non-Executive Chairman of Jersey Oil & Gas, commented: Together, they have the hands-on experience and track record of leading large project developments and creating significant shareholder value, and possess the necessary expertise to successfully complete our GBA farm-out process and accelerate JOG’s growth plans.”

The firm continues to be actively engaged with multiple counterparties, including major infrastructure funders with respect to its electrification plans and its GBA farm-out process, where the macro environment has undergone a marked improvement after the initial industry engagement.

Recent directorate changes 

Les Thomas; Courtesy of Jersey Oil & Gas

Jersey informed that Les Thomas had assumed the role of non-executive chairman with immediate effect to replace Marcus Stanton, who held the position for the last six years. Stanton will remain on the board as a non-executive director and chair of the audit committee. Les previously worked at Marathon Oil UK, John Wood Group and Ithaca Energy and has over 35 years of experience in the oil and gas industry.

In addition, Graham Forbes, who has over 20 years of experience in the oil and gas industry, joined the board as CFO and this appointment is also effective immediately. Graham is a chartered accountant, who qualified at PriceWaterhouseCoopers before moving to ExxonMobil and later First Oil Group. Graham served as CFO at Ithaca Energy for the last ten years.

Furthermore, Jersey’s new CCO, Richard Smith, who started his career in the energy industry as a consultant at EA Technology, also has over 20 years of experience in the oil and gas industry and wider energy sector. Smith spent ten years as corporate development director at Ithaca Energy, working alongside Les and Graham. Prior to this, Smith spent eight years with TotalEnergies working in its UK North Sea business and at its head office in France.

The company explained that Ron Lansdell and Vicary Gibbs had stepped down from the board, after making valuable contributions to the firm’s growth during the time they served as COO and CFO respectively. Jersey claims that the new board appointments mark the next important phase in its development and delivery of key strategic ambitions, including becoming a full cycle upstream oil and gas business in the UK North Sea.

GBA development bringing electrification a step closer to reality

Located in the heart of the Central North Sea, the GBA project has prompted Jersey to develop plans to deliver a phased, low carbon, oil hub development.

Buchan oil field and J2 oil discovery; Source: Jersey Oil & Gas

JOG holds a significant acreage position within the Central North Sea referred to as the Greater Buchan Area, which includes operatorship and 100 per cent working interests in blocks that contain the Buchan oil field and J2 oil discovery and a 100 per cent working interest in the P2170 Licence Blocks 20/5b & 21/1d, that contain the Verbier oil discovery and other exploration prospects.

JOG’s total GBA acreage is estimated by management to contain 172 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMboe) of discovered P50 recoverable resources net in addition to significant exploration upside potential of approximately 168 MMboe of prospective resources in close proximity to the firm’s planned Buchan platform. 

Revealing its preferred development concept for the GBA project in March 2021, JOG outlined it was centred around a single, normally manned, integrated wellhead, production, utilities and quarters platform to be located at the Buchan field.

In respect to its ongoing GBA farm-out process, JOG remains actively engaged with multiple counterparties, with discussions focusing not only on the firm’s Preferred Development Concept but also around alternative concepts using the existing third-party infrastructure.

The company confirms it received expressions of interest from major infrastructure operators with respect to funding the proposed electrification of the GBA development and the potential regional collaboration opportunities that exist.

Back in late August 2021, Jersey re-phased FEED entry, FID and first-oil milestone dates to allow sufficient time for the incorporation of regional electrification studies in collaboration with other offshore operators/owners.

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Before the decision was made to re-phase the project, the FEED entry was previously expected in 3Q 2021, the FID was expected in H2 2022, and the first oil from Phase 1 in 4Q 2025, Phase 2 in 2027, and Phase 3 in 2028.

JOG is advancing regional electrification collaboration efforts with various industry parties in the Outer Moray Firth. Following the recent announcement from Crown Estate Scotland detailing its plans to launch a leasing process that will enable the provision of low-carbon electricity to power oil and gas installations to decarbonise the sector, the company claims the area has potential for an integrated solution on power supply stemming from planned future offshore wind projects.

Jersey also outlines that potential collaboration with the owners of other oil discoveries in the vicinity of the GBA has been accelerated to see if a wider joint development programme can be achieved.

Andrew Benitz, CEO of Jersey Oil & Gas, commented: “Our GBA farm-out process continues and we are actively engaged with multiple counterparties. The macro-environment has markedly improved since we began initial industry engagement and the scale and quality of the GBA asset base makes it an exciting growth opportunity.”