Irish exploration company United Oil and Gas has been provisionally awarded two blocks in the North Sea as part of the UK’s latest exploration licensing round.
The new assets are in the centre of the North Sea, close to the low-risk Zeta project. United currently owns 100% of Zeta but is expected to sell down part of its holding next year.
Earlier this year, United said it would lower its exposure to the UK market in order to focus on its core geographies of Egypt, Italy, and Jamaica. However, that move will only see it sell its southern England-based assets, while it will maintain an interest in the North Sea.
"The discovered resources and additional prospects we have added in these North Sea Blocks are significant in their own right, but when combined with our neighbouring Zeta licence, provide an exciting portfolio of discoveries and prospects in an active area of the UK North Sea,” said United’s chief operating officer Jonathan Leather.
"United has a proven record of success in UK licencing rounds. More importantly, based on our knowledge of the region and our strong geotechnical team, we have a record of adding value to those licences and where appropriate monetising them in the interests of shareholders,” Mr Leather said.
United’s share price was marginally down; having surged last week on the announcement of new investors buying into its producing Egyptian-based assets.