Tullow acquiring interests in North Sea gas fields

By OGJ editors

HOUSTON, Dec. 29 -- Tullow Oil PLC plans to acquire interests in Schooner and Ketch natural gas fields and associated acreage from Shell UK Ltd. and Esso Exploration and Production UK Ltd.

Tullow agreed to buy Shell's and Esso's entire producing interests in those fields for £200 million. Closing, expected in early 2005, will be effective retroactive to July 1.

Schooner and Ketch fields bring producing assets as well as development and exploration upside, enhancing Tullow's strategic position in the southern North Sea, the independent said.

Tullow plans a 3-year development program designed to increase production levels. The work program will involve working over and sidetracking existing wells and drilling new wells.

The producing interests to be acquired are 90.35% interest in Schooner field and 100% interest in Ketch field. These fields together produce 60 MMscf/d of gas, which is transported via the Caister-Murdoch system, in which Tullow holds a 17% interest.

In addition, the agreements call for Tullow to acquire minority interests in the Topaz, Marjan, and 44/27-1 discoveries.

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