RockRose to hand over Brae operatorship to TAQA

London-listed RockRose Energy will be passing operatorship of the Brae Area, located in the UK North Sea, to TAQA following court proceedings brought on by TAQA and other partners in the field. 

Brae Alpha platform
Brae Alpha platform; Source: Marathon Oil

RockRose took over the Brae field through the acquisition of Marathon Oil U.K. (MOUK), completed at the beginning of July 2019.

RockRose said on Friday that, subject to receipt of approval by the Secretary of State, it would be passing operatorship of the Brae Area to TAQA Bratani.

This follows court proceedings brought by TAQA and other joint venture partners, JX Nippon and Spirit Energy, in December 2019. The proceedings related to the notice of discharge served on MOUK, as operator.

“There is no strategic or financial consequence to RockRose, as no partner under a Joint Operating Agreement (JOA) can benefit from being operator,” RockRose said.

The notice of discharge was served on MOUK prior to its acquisition by RockRose on July 1, 2019, and the possibility of this outcome was revealed by the company on July 19, 2019.

RockRose said it would work with TAQA during the transition process to ensure there is no disruption to ongoing operations, including the current drilling program at West Brae.

The company expect the handover to be completed in the second of half of the year.

RockRose also noted that, since completion of the Marathon acquisition, the Cessation of production (CoP) at Brae Alpha had been extended by at least three years to 2030.

Andrew Austin, RockRose Executive Chairman, said: “We are proud of the role we have played in furthering the Government’s Maximising Economic Recovery (MER) strategy in the short time we have operated the assets. We look forward to working with TAQA to support a smooth transition and to minimize any disruption once approval from the Secretary of State has been obtained.

“For RockRose, this change is financially and strategically neutral and we look forward to seeing the assets continue to deliver for the company and its shareholders.”

Donald Taylor, TAQA Europe Managing Director, said: “The Commercial Court has confirmed the decision of the Brae fields joint venture to appoint TAQA as successor Operator to RockRose UKCS8 LLC (RockRose), subject to obtaining OGA consent.

“The owners of the Brae Fields, comprising TAQA Bratani Limited, TAQA Bratani LNS Limited, Spirit Energy Resources Limited, JX Nippon Exploration and Production (U.K.) Limited and RockRose look forward to obtaining the necessary regulatory approvals and to discussing arrangements to transition operatorship of the Brae fields to TAQA.

“We welcome RockRose’s comments today that “RockRose will work with TAQA during the transition process to ensure there is no disruption to ongoing operations (including the current drilling programme at West Brae), and to ensure staff are fully supported throughout.”

“Operational activities will continue unaffected while the transition is undertaken.

“The safe and successful operation of the Brae fields remains TAQA’s primary aim and we look forward to working collaboratively together with the joint venture, relevant regulatory bodies, contractors and other stakeholders to manage a safe transition of Brae Area operatorship.”