UK oil company strikes exploration deal in Jamaica

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UK-based United Oil & Gas PLC said on Monday it has received approval from the Jamaican Government to take forward the Walton Morant Licence, Jamaica, on a 100% operated basis.

United has been assigned Tullow Jamaica Ltd’s 80% equity in the Walton Morant licence for a nominal fee, leaving the Company as operator and 100% equity holder. The initial exploration period has been extended for 18 months by the Government of Jamaica.

The company said Walton Morant is a highly prospective frontier basin with compelling evidence for the presence of a working petroleum system. A work programme is underway to further de-risk the Colibri prospect and other targets ahead of a drill decision.

“Walton Morant has the potential to have a major impact on United Oil & Gas and we are delighted to have successfully concluded an agreement with the Jamaican Government to take on operatorship and to develop this licence for the benefit of all stakeholders,” Brian Larkin, United’s CEO said.

United said a farm-out process is ongoing and the company, which is the operator, looks forward to taking full ownership of the process and driving it forward.

The Colibri prospect has been independently estimated to contain gross unrisked mean prospective resources of 229 MMstb, and up to 513 MMstb in a high-case scenario

Following agreement with the Jamaican Government, Tullow Jamaica Ltd’s 80% equity and operatorship has been transferred to United for a nominal fee, and the PSA has been amended to extend the Initial exploration period for 18 months. A portion of the licence has been voluntarily relinquished, leaving a more focused area of c. 22,400km2 that still incorporates all of the identified prospectivity.

“We will move ahead with a cost-effective programme of activity, building on the significant work that Tullow and United had completed over the last two years and the feedback from a very active farm-down process,” Larkin stated.

With the extension to the Initial exploration period, United now has until the January 31, 2022, before the drill-or-drop decision is required.

United said it plans to complete a work programme to further de-risk the high-graded Colibri prospect and perform detailed interpretation of the numerous follow-on targets, including Moonraker, Thunderball, Moneypenny, Jaws, Goldfinger, Vesper, Oriole, Earspot and Rumpspot. This cost-effective activity will be informed by the feedback from companies who have engaged with United and the previous licence operator in the data room process, to date. It is believed this work will have a significant impact on the continuing farm-down process.

The amended Walton Morant Licence covers an area of 22,400km2, and has numerous plays and prospects already identified across three separate basins. 11 wells have been drilled to date (9 onshore, 2 offshore), and all bar one contained hydrocarbon shows.

United farmed into the Walton Morant licence in 2017. Since then, significant seismic survey work has been carried out on the licence, including the acquisition and interpretation of 2,250km2 of 3D seismic data and the re-interpretation of 3,650km of existing 2D seismic data.

Based on this new data, United invested in an updated independent Competent Persons Report for the licence in 2019.  This identified a total gross un-risked mean prospective resource of 229 MMstb on the Colibri Prospect alone. In high-case scenarios, the gross unrisked resource estimates for Colibri suggest up to 513 MMstb could be recovered.

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