Oil and gas explorer Serica Energy said it is looking to explore new deeper plays in the central North Sea after agreeing a farm-out deal with Japanese firm JX Nippon.
JX Nippon Exploration and Production (UK) is to farm-in to Serica’s 100% owned North Sea block containing the unsuccessful Oates prospect.
JX Nippon will pay £154,000 for an 85% interest in the block, plus carry Serica’s share of all future costs, including drilling an exploration well in the Jurassic or deeper zone in the field.
The Oates prospect in the licence had been drilled in a partnership with Premier Oil, but Premier dropped out after no commercial discovery was found.
Tony Craven Walker, London-based Serica’s chairman and interim chief executive said: “We are very pleased to have partnered with JX Nippon in pursuing these technically exciting and relatively new deeper plays in the central North Sea.
“Although not a commitment in the current licence term, such wells can be physically challenging if drilled and so we have prudently managed that risk by exchanging equity for a carry on the well cost.”
JX Nippon has had assets in the UK since 1994.