‘Major milestone’ tucked away with submission of development plan for UK North Sea gas project

ASX-listed Hartshead Resources NL and Viaro Energy, through its wholly-owned subsidiary RockRose Energy, have handed a field development plan (FDP) for Phase I of a gas project in the UK North Sea to the North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA), marking what the ASX-listed player deems to be a major and material milestone in the development of its UK Southern Gas Basin assets.

Hartshead Resources

Hartshead Resources announced the submission of its Phase I FDP for the Anning and Somerville gas field development to the North Sea Transition Authority on Wednesday, 21 June 2023. This field development consists of an unmanned dual platform development with gas transportation via a subsea tie-in to the offtake route.

According to the company, the FDP submission further advances the phased development of the P2607 license area towards a clear pathway to project development of the previously producing gas fields in the UK Southern Gas Basin. Discovered in 1969, Anning and Somerville came online in 2008 and 1999, respectively. The fields ceased production in 2015, at which point Somerville had produced 48 bcf of gas, and Anning had produced 16 bcf of gas.

Chris Lewis, Hartshead Resources CEO, commented: “This milestone is a significant advancement towards Hartshead becoming a UK gas producer and playing our part in the UK’s energy security and energy transition. Seeing the development project take shape, and having a clear development plan and offtake route identified, is immensely gratifying after all the hard work put in by the team so far. I now look forward to taking FID alongside our project partner RockRose.”

Following a recently completed farm-in deal, Viaro Energy’s RockRose holds a 60 per cent working interest in Production Licence P.2607, which includes the Anning and Somerville fields, while Hartshead has a 40 per cent stake. At the time, RockRose committed to a A$135.7 million or about $91.8 million consideration for purchasing Hartshead’s 60 per cent interest. This forms part of Hartshead’s equity requirement for the project development costs of Phase I.

The company expects to conclude discussions with parties for the debt funding of its remaining expenditure alongside the FID in 3Q 2023 with six production wells planned. These are forecast to come on stream in early 2025 at gross peak production rates of 140 mmcfd (net 84 mmcfd to RockRose, or 14,000 boepd).

Seaward License P2607 holds multiple gas fields and prospects; Source: Hartshead
Seaward License P2607 holds multiple gas fields and prospects; Source: Hartshead

After completing Phase 1, the project’s Phase 2 will focus on the Hodgkin and Lovelace fields while Phase 3 may also be in the pipeline, as Hartshead’s exploration portfolio underwent a study by Xodus Group, generating a new prospect inventory totalling 14 prospects and leads with unrisked 2U Prospective Resources of 344 Bcf.