North Sea Columbus group reach deal on unitization

Offshore staff

LONDONSerica Energy says the partners in block 23/16f in the UK central North Sea have agreed to an equity transaction with BG International and SSE E&P UK.

BG and SSE will transfer their interests in a portion of block 23/21a containing an extension of the Columbus gas field (block 23/21a Columbus Subarea) to the block 23/16f group of Serica, Endeavour Energy UK and EOG Resources UK, for a nominal sum.

The deal remains subject to the consent of the licensing authorities.

Block 23/21a Columbus Subarea is directly south of block 23/16f. Following closure of the transaction, the Columbus participants will own 100% of the Columbus field with Serica having a 50% interest and continuing as operator.

Additionally, the arrangement should provide the partners with greater freedom to push the project forward after years of delays, due in part to unitization issues.

Development of Columbus remains contingent on securing access to infrastructure – Serica says discussions should now move forward under the guidance of Britain’s new Oil & Gas Authority, which has a remit to clear obstacles to UK field developments.

An extension has been granted to the block 23/16f license terms to allow agreement to be reached on an export route and a field development plan to be submitted. A similar extension should follow for the block 23/21a Columbus Subarea license.


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