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eCORP UK joined by Total UK in British shale exploration effort

Oilfield Technology,

eCORP UK, a subsidiary of privately held eCORP International, LLC, has announced that it has entered into a farm-out agreement with Total E&P UK Limited (Total), along with partners Island Gas Limited, Egdon Resources UK Limited and GP Energy Limited (a subsidiary of Dart Energy Limited).

The agreement has been made in respect of two large UK onshore petroleum exploration and development licences, PEDL 139 and PEDL 140, located in the Gainsborough Trough in Lincolnshire. The licences cover an area of 240 km2.

This agreement supplants eCORP’s previous farm-in agreement with IGas, Egdon and GP Energy. Transaction details and statements have been provided earlier today by the other parties involved.

Commenting on the agreement, John Francis Thrash, CEO of eCORP International, LLC, said: “The entry of this highly respected global shale operator into the UK shale gas exploration effort is a watershed event, not only for the UK, but also, we believe, continental Europe. From a North American shale E&P perspective, this very compelling prospect has many of the physical attributes of the best basins in the US. From a shale M&A perspective, the transaction, which represents about 1% of our UK/Europe holdings, is a quantum leap in value creation.”

Commenting on the acquisition, Patrice de Viviès, Total’s Senior Vice President for Northern Europe, said: “This opportunity is an important milestone for Total E&P UK and opens a new chapter for the subsidiary in a promising onshore play. The Group is already involved in shale gas projects in the US, Argentina, China, Australia and in Europe in Poland and in Denmark, and will leverage its expertise in this new venture in the UK.”

Total exploration and production in the UK

With investments of approximately US$ 2 billion each year in the UK, Total E&P UK will become the largest oil and gas producer in the country by 2015. Current developments include the West Franklin Phase II project (operator, 40 000 boe/d capacity), and the Laggan-Tormore project (operator, 90 000 boe/d capacity) in the West of Shetland area, both of which are scheduled to start up in 2014.

Total has been present in the United Kingdom since 1962 and is currently one of the country’s leading oil and gas operators with a production of 105 000 boe/d in 2013.

More than 90% of Total’s production in the UK comes from several operated fields located in two major zones: the Alwyn zone in the northern North Sea, and the Elgin/Franklin zone in the Central Graben.

Edited from various sources by Cecilia Rehn

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