11 Apr 2017
Acquisition of SNS PipelineIndependent Oil and Gas plc ("IOG" or the "Company") (AIM: IOG.L), the development and production focused Oil and Gas Company, is pleased to announce it has signed a Sale and Purchase Agreement (“SPA”) regarding the acquisition of the recently decommissioned Thames Gas Pipeline in the Southern North Sea (“SNS”) for a nominal consideration from Perenco UK Limited, Tullow Oil SK Limited and Centrica Resources Limited. The pipeline will provide the proposed export route for IOG’s Southern North Sea assets.
- The strategically important pipeline will allow the Blythe and Vulcan Satellite hubs to export gas to the Bacton Gas Terminal.
- Estimated initial capacity of the 24-inch Thames pipeline is 300 million cubic feet per day ("MMcfd").
- IOG will own 100% and operate the pipeline giving the Company control from field to market.
- No tariff will be payable for the transportation of the gas to Bacton. A processing tariff will be payable to Perenco, the terminal owner.
- Completion is subject to regulatory consents and provision of security to Perenco to cover the cost of additional pipeline integrity surveys that may be required in the future (estimated maximum cost of £500,000).
Ahead of first gas, the Company intends to acquire the onshore reception facilities at the Perenco Bacton terminal. A period of exclusivity has been agreed until the end of September 2018. IOG anticipates using and upgrading the facilities in the meantime during the intelligent pigging works, subject to a Construction and Tie In Agreement (“CTIA”) which is now being drawn up.
Under the terms of the acquisition additional security to be held by Perenco, the current Thames pipeline operator, for future decommissioning will be required before commencement of gas export (not expected to exceed £2.5 million including the pipeline integrity surveys). Additional security will be provided post completion of the onshore facilities, prior to first gas from IOG’s gas hubs.
Mark Routh, CEO and Interim Chairman of IOG, commented:
I am delighted to have signed the Sale and Purchase Agreement for this strategically important acquisition. We acquired most of our SNS gas portfolio at low cost because the assets in this area were considered stranded without a viable export route. This acquisition allays those concerns and is therefore of great importance to IOG as we now have a route to market for our gas. Subject to completion and remediation it will enable us to deliver up to half a trillion cubic feet of gas resources to the UK market over a period of fifteen to twenty years from the end of next year. We are also open to work with third parties who may wish to use our export facilities for a tariff. We believe this is the kind of innovation required to breathe new life into the Southern North Sea and is entirely in line with the principles of Maximising Economic Recovery, as championed by the UK Oil and Gas Authority.
The information communicated in this announcement is inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of Regulation 596/2014.
About Independent Oil and Gas:
IOG is an oil and gas company with established assets in the UK North Sea. The company's strategy is to deliver near term development and production assets in North West Europe, through its extensive technical and commercial expertise, whilst maintaining some exposure to exploration upside. The company is looking to grow both organically and through acquisition.
All IOG’s licences are owned 100% and operated by IOG.
Further information can be found on www.independentoilandgas.com
About the Vulcan Satellites:
The Vulcan Satellites consist of three fields, Vulcan East, Vulcan North West and Vulcan South, which hold independently estimated 2C resources of 77.4 BCF, 131.3 BCF and 112.0 BCF respectively, 320.7 BCF collectively. These fields lie in Block 49/21a (Licence P039), Block 49/21d (Licence P2122), Block 48/25b (Licence P130) and Block 49/21c (Licence P1915) in the UK sector of the Southern North Sea. They lie approximately 30-45km east of IOG’s 100%-owned Blythe field and are considered ready for development with no further appraisal required. The Company is preparing Field Development Plans for these three fields which will form a gas hub. IOG has assumed liability for decommissioning a suspended well on Vulcan East, which in April 2015 was independently estimated to cost £3.0 million as part of a development campaign, based on prevailing rig rates at that time.
About the Blythe Hub:
The Blythe hub licences comprise Blythe, Elgood, Hambleton, Truman and Harvey.
The Blythe gas discovery in the Rotliegendes Leman formation straddles Blocks 48/22b and 48/23a in the Southern North Sea in licence P1736. The Blythe Leman reservoir needs no further appraisal and has independently verified 2P reserves of 34.3 BCF (6.1 MMBoe). (Source: ERC Equipoise Competent Person’s Report (“CPR”) dated September 2013.) The Blythe licence has been extended to 31 December 2017. The Company submitted a draft field Development Plan to the Oil & Gas Authority in December 2016. Subject to completion of the pipeline acquisition, the Company intends to submit the full field development plan on a combined Blythe and Elgood development in the first half of 2017.
Gas tested to surface from three separate intervals in the Carboniferous beneath the Blythe Leman gas discovery from one of the Blythe discovery wells, 48/23-3 drilled by Arco in 1987. The maximum rate achieved was 0.9 MMcfd from an unstimulated vertical test. (Source: End of well report 48/23-3 – November 1987.) This was deemed uncommercial at the time, before the advent of horizontal multi-fracture stimulated wells. Further technical work including seismic reprocessing and remapping needs to be completed to evaluate this potential resource to refine the gas-in-place estimates which are between 70 BCF and 310 BCF. (Source: Tullow Oil 48/23a Relinquishment Report – May 2009.)
Oil has flowed to surface from the naturally fractured Zechstein Carbonates in the Hauptdolomit formation above the Blythe Leman gas discovery from two wells. Well 48/22-1 drilled by Burmah in 1966 flowed 39° API oil at rates up to 2,000 barrels per day (Source: Composite well log 48/22-1 – October 1966) and well 48/23-3 drilled by Arco in 1987 at flowed 38° API oil at a maximum rate of 1,128 barrels of oil a day. (Source: End of well report 48/23-3 – November 1987.) The extent of the structure and potential oil resources in the Hauptdolomit remains unknown. Previous estimates considered that the mapped closure was probably small. Oil-in-place has been estimated between 2 MMBbls and 4 MMBbls. (Source: Tullow Oil 48/23a Relinquishment Report – May 2009.) Further evaluation and re-mapping is continuing now that a development will proceed on the main Blythe gas discovery.
IOG has a 100% working interest in licence P2085 to the east of Blythe (Blocks 48/23c & 48/24b) which was awarded in the 27th licensing round. Recent 3D seismic reprocessing and remapping by Beagle Geoscience Limited has led to an improved understanding of the complex faulting that exists in the overlying strata. Based on this work, the internal management probabilistic estimates of the P90/P50/P10 gas initially in place for Harvey are 77/176/403 BCF and probabilistic estimates of the P90/P50/P10 resources are 44/113/290 BCF.
IOG is now considering committing to a firm appraisal well on Harvey which would be required before a reservoir model could be built and a development plan could be prepared. If an appraisal well was to be drilled successfully and Harvey was subsequently developed, the Company believes that it could be tied back to the same pipeline as the Blythe and Vulcan Satellite hubs.
IOG has a 100% working interest in licence P2260 awarded in the 28th licensing round to the west of Blythe containing the Elgood discovery (Block 48/22c). Elgood was drilled by Enterprise Oil in 1991 and tested gas to surface at 17.6 MMcfd but was not progressed by Enterprise due to size and gas prices at that time.
IOG is now working on the development plan for Elgood to be submitted in conjunction with the Blythe field development plan and will commission a CPR to confirm the resources over this area. Based on the work undertaken by Beagle, the internal management probabilistic estimates of the P90/P50/P10 gas initially in place for Elgood are 26/35/48 BCF and probabilistic estimates of the P90/P50/P10 resources are 15/22/31 BCF.
The probabilistic Gas Initially in Place and resources estimates for IOG’s SNS portfolio of Blythe, Elgood, Harvey and the Vulcan Satellites are as follows:
|SNS Portfolio||Gas Initially in Place||Estimated resources|
|Vulcan North West||184||215||251||112||131||153|
This does not include other discoveries that may be sub-commercial, or potential additional resources that could be recovered from the carboniferous sections or other undrilled prospects in the SNS portfolio.
The Skipper oil discovery is in Block 9/21a in the Northern North Sea in licence P1609. IOG owns 100% of the Skipper licence P1609 and is the Operator. In July/August 2016 the Company successfully drilled its first operated appraisal well and retrieved oil samples, in order to design the optimum field development plan. Skipper has independently verified gross 2C resources of 26.2 MMBbls. Following the results from the appraisal well, IOG management’s estimates of the oil in place in the Skipper reservoir are minimum/most likely/maximum 119.3/142.6/168.3 MMBbls. Recovery factor estimates will be revised during the full field reservoir simulation studies which are now underway.
Competent Person’s Statement:
In accordance with the AIM Note for Mining and Oil and Gas Companies, IOG discloses that Mark Routh, IOG's CEO is the qualified person that has reviewed the technical information contained in this announcement. Mark Routh has an MSc in Petroleum Engineering and has been a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers since 1985. He has over 35 years' operating experience in the upstream oil and gas industry. Mark Routh consents to the inclusion of the information in the form and context in which it appears.