The four highly prospective blocks in the Central North Sea cover an area of approximately 500 km2, and include the Zeta prospect, which United estimates could contain over 90 million bbl of in-place oil. The Blocks, which lie 10 km from United's Crown Discovery, are close to the Marigold and Yeoman discoveries and the substantial Piper, MacCulloch and Claymore oil fields.
The Blocks have been awarded on the basis of a low-cost work programme involving the purchase of an existing high-quality 3D seismic dataset and detailed geological and geophysical analysis. This analysis is planned to better quantify the chance of success and reduce the uncertainty on the estimated oil volumes, ahead of making a drilling commitment.
United Oil & Gas Plc COO, Jonathan Leather, said, "We are delighted with these awards, which, based on extensive technical work carried out over the available acreage ahead of the application were our primary focus for the 31st Round.
"This is our second successful UK licencing round and our largest award to date. United has done well to be included in the roster of companies which have been successful in this round, including Chrysaor, Equinor, Chevron and Total."
In the same licencing round, United was Provisionally awarded 10% interest in Blocks 98/11b and 98/12 in the English Channel, which lie contiguous with United's 10% interest in the Colter P1918 Licence and contain the Ballard Point discovery and the eastern portion of the Colter South discovery. The company expects to receive confirmation on these licences in the coming weeks and will provide an update on this in due course.