LONDON – JX Nippon Exploration and Production (U.K.) has agreed to take an 85% operating interest in the UK central North Sea block 22/19c (license P.1620) from Serica Energy.
Serica will retain a 15% stake. In exchange, JX Nippon will pay Serica $250,000 and carry the company for its share of all future costs associated with the license, up to and including drilling of an exploration well to Jurassic or a deeper horizon. The agreement is subject to UK government approval.
Serica previously participated in drilling of the Palaeocene Forties sand Oates prospect in the license, where itscosts were carried by Premier Oil.
Premier dropped out after the dry hole, but the new partnership is focusing on prospectivity of deeper, older strata.