Shell farms into Sicilian offshore licenses

Northern Petroleum UK Ltd. has brought in as a partner Shell Italia Exploration & Production SPA for its licenses off Sicily under a farmout agreement.

Uchenna Izundu
International Editor

LONDON, Dec. 7 -- Northern Petroleum UK Ltd. has brought in as a partner Shell Italia Exploration & Production SPA for its licenses off Sicily under a farmout agreement.

Shell will acquire a 55% interest in GR17-NP, GR18-NP, GR19-NP, and a 70% stake in GR20-NP, GR21-NP, GR22-NP licenses.

Shell has agreed to pay €1.9 million for Northern Petroleum's back-costs and various seismic work. Northern will serve as operator during the initial seismic phase, and Shell will serve as operator once drilling starts.

The assets are estimated to hold unaudited, combined, and unrisked prospective resources of 1.9 billion bbl of recoverable oil.

Derek Musgrove, Northern Petroleum managing director, said, "Shell will bring to the project Italian thrust belt and production experience, in addition to its international major project and deepwater expertise. In 2003, we perceived the potential of the thrust belt play in the Sicily Channel ahead of the new climate of gas oil prices and have been progressing these licences for several years. The area under licence in the Sicily Channel is 4,367 sq km and if drilling is successful it could open up a new Western European hydrocarbon province."

Contact Uchenna Izundu at uchennai@pennwell.com.

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