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RockRose Energy passes operatorship of Brae Area to TAQA

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Oilfield Technology,

RockRose Energy has announced, subject to receipt of approval by the Secretary of State, it will be passing operatorship of the Brae Area in the North Sea to TAQA Bratani.

This follows court proceedings brought by TAQA and the other joint venture partners, JX Nippon and Spirit Energy in December 2019. The proceedings related to the notice of discharge served on Marathon Oil UK (MOUK), as operator. There is no strategic or financial consequence to RockRose, as no partner under a Joint Operating Agreement (JOA) can benefit from being operator.

The notice of discharge was served on MOUK prior to its acquisition by RockRose on 1 July 2019 and the possibility of this outcome was referred to in the prospectus published by the Company on 19 July 2019. Throughout the process, subsequent to the notice having been received, RockRose has remained committed to ensuring the best possible outcome for the Brae Area, its staff, and for the joint venture partners.

RockRose will work with TAQA during the transition process to ensure there is no disruption to ongoing operations (including the current drilling programme at West Brae), and to ensure staff are fully supported throughout. The handover is expected to be completed in the second half of the year.

Since completion of the Marathon Acquisition RockRose has made a material positive impact in the Brae Area, both for the staff and the assets. Achievements, which have been realised in conjunction with our joint venture partners, include:

  • Reserves have been increased;
  • Cessation of production (CoP) at Brae Alpha has been extended by at least three years to 2030;
  • East Brae CoP has been extended by two years to 2023;
  • Brae Bravo has been successfully disembarked and the knowledge gained from that exercise has materially benefitted other assets in which RockRose is a partner; and
  • The working environment has improved with the implementation of a rota change offshore and restructuring of the operational leadership.

Commenting, Andrew Austin, Rockrose, Executive Chairman, said: "Our focus throughout this process has been to ensure the best possible outcome for the Brae Area, the staff working on the assets, and for the joint venture partners. We are proud of the role we have played in furthering the Government's Maximising Economic Recovery (MER) strategy in the short time we have operated the assets. We look forward to working with TAQA to support a smooth transition and to minimise any disruption once approval from the Secretary of State has been obtained. For RockRose, this change is financially and strategically neutral and we look forward to seeing the assets continue to deliver for the Company and its shareholders".

Donald Taylor, TAQA Europe Managing Director, commented: “The Commercial Court has confirmed the decision of the Brae fields joint venture to appoint TAQA as successor Operator to RockRose UKCS8 LLC (RockRose), subject to obtaining OGA consent.

“The owners of the Brae Fields, comprising TAQA Bratani Limited, TAQA Bratani LNS Limited, Spirit Energy Resources Limited, JX Nippon Exploration and Production (U.K.) Limited and RockRose look forward to obtaining the necessary regulatory approvals and to discussing arrangements to transition operatorship of the Brae fields to TAQA.

“We welcome RockRose’s comments today that “RockRose will work with TAQA during the transition process to ensure there is no disruption to ongoing operations (including the current drilling programme at West Brae), and to ensure staff are fully supported throughout.”

“Operational activities will continue unaffected while the transition is undertaken.

“The safe and successful operation of the Brae fields remains TAQA’s primary aim and we look forward to working collaboratively together with the joint venture, relevant regulatory bodies, contractors and other stakeholders to manage a safe transition of Brae Area operatorship.”

*This article was amended on 21 January to include the comments from Donald Taylor.


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