Venture Production said yesterday it was to acquire additional interests in the Cygnus, Kepler, Copernicus and Humphrey gas discoveries plus interests in three exploration blocks.
The four proven but undeveloped finds lie close to infrastructure in the Caister Murdoch System in the UK southern North Sea.
In April, the Aberdeen-based oil and gas operator announced its acquisition of an initial 35% interest in each. In this follow-on transaction, Venture will acquire an additional 13.75% non-operated interest in the acreage containing these four discoveries from E.On Ruhrgas for £14.8million.
As part of the same transaction, GDF Britain will acquire identical interests in the same assets and at the same price. GDF will remain operator of each of the four discoveries. GDF is also licence operator on two of the nearby exploration blocks in which Venture is taking stakes, with ConocoPhillips the operator of the third.
Venture chief executive Mike Wagstaff said: “This deal gives us greater mass in a set of gas assets which we are already pushing forward through appraisal to development in conjunction with the operator. In Cygnus, we will now have close to 50% of what could become one of the largest remaining southern North Sea gas developments.”
Venture said the Cygnus find offered significant upside potential while Copernicus offer appraisal upside.
The Aberdeen firm, which at the end of August reported a record financial performance in the six months to June 30 thanks to higher production and strong oil and gas prices, has also seen a milestone achieved at its Chestnut oil development.
Chestnut, where production is via the Sevan Hummingbird “round rig” floating production vessel, has reached its first 100,000 barrels of production.
This means that Venture will now formally accept the Sevan Hummingbird into service on a full contract rate. The vessel is scheduled to remain at the field for a firm 2
The Hummingbird is the first cylindrical floating production vessel to come into service in the UK North Sea.
Venture is operator of Chestnut, in the central UK North Sea, with a stake of 69.875%. The field is estimated to have net recoverable reserves of 6.8million barrels of oil equivalent.