Award of UK 31st Offshore Licensing Round Acreage

This announcement is not an offer for sale, or a solicitation of an offer to acquire, securities in any jurisdiction, including in or into the United States, Canada, Australia, or Japan. Neither this announcement nor any part of it shall form the basis of or be relied on in connection with or act as an inducement to enter into any contract or commitment whatsoever.

Upland Resources Limited (LSE: UPL), the oil and gas company actively building a portfolio of attractive upstream assets, is pleased to announce that, with partners, its wholly-owned subsidiary Upland Resources (UK Onshore) Limited (“Upland UK”) has been awarded exclusive permits over seven blocks and part blocks in the Inner Moray Firth (“IMF”), part of the UK Continental Shelf.



  • Highly prospective acreage with multiple prospects. 
  • Upland UK to hold a 40% working interest in each of seven blocks. 
  • The IMF area attracted many bids, including successful ones from Chevron and Equinor. 

Upland UK and its partners have been formally awarded by the UK Oil & Gas Authority (“OGA”) the licences as a result of the competitive UK 31st Offshore Licensing Round. These Innovate licences are held Upland UK (40%), Corallian Energy Limited (“Corallian”, 45%) and Baron Oil (15%).

The blocks awarded are Blocks 12/27c, 17/5, 18/1 and 18/2, as Licence P2478, in the southern part of the Inner Moray Firth Basin and Blocks 11/23, 11/24c and 11/25b, as Licence P2470, in the northern part of the Inner Moray Firth.

IMF South – Licence P2478

Within the IMF South area, Block 12/27 (split) contains a substantial prospect located up-dip of a gas column intersected by well 12/27-1 (drilled by Burmah in 1982 and 1983) in Middle Jurassic Beatrice Formation sandstones. The well flowed 9.5 MMscfg per day on a 40/64” choke from a 14m interval at 1,109m MD. The tested gas was almost pure methane (98.6%) but the reservoir was also oil stained. Corallian interprets the structure drilled by 12/27-1 to have been oil charged to structural spill and to have spilled up-dip to a series of tilted fault block closures on the Central Ridge culminating in a gas cap which has a DHI (direct hydrocarbon indicator) amplitude anomaly.
This Dunrobin Prospect covers 33.6 square kilometres and has a Pmean prospective recoverable resource of 187 MMboe. The smaller Golspie Prospect, a separate fault block also up-dip of 12/27-1, covers 4.2 square kilometres and has a Pmean prospective recoverable resource potential of 21.5 MMboe. The primary reservoir intervals for both prospects are sandstones of the Beatrice Formation and Dunrobin Bay Group as intersected in well 12/27-1 where reservoir quality is good to excellent. Corallian estimates the geological chance of success for the Dunrobin prospect to be 34%, and the Golspie prospect to be 43%, with the main risks being cross-fault seal and oil preservation at shallow depth.
Within Phase A of the Innovate licence the joint venture must complete 3D seismic reprocessing and make a decision to drill or drop the licence within 4 years.

IMF North – Licence P2470

In IMF North, the blocks form contiguous acreage located nearshore to the NE Scottish coast, 135 km NW of Aberdeen, in an average 30 metres water depth.
Block 11/24c contains the Knockinnon Beatrice age oil discovery, which is located approximately 8 km off the Scottish coast, and 7 km south of the Lybster Field. It was discovered by well 11/24a-2 and its sidetrack 11/24a-2z, drilled in 2000 by Talisman and is estimated to contain 8 MMbbl Pmean recoverable oil. The nearby Forse Channel amplitude anomaly is estimated to contain an additional 4 MMbbls oil recoverable from Upper Jurassic “Buzzard” aged sandstones. The prospect is considered to be low risk for finding hydrocarbons as it is defined by a DHI on the seismic volume.

Underlying the Knockinnon discovery is a mapped sub-thrust footwall anticline (the Alpha prospect). The block also contains the Whaligoe (extending to Block 11/25b (split)), Camster and Camster south prospects, which are downthrown against the Great Glen fault system. Block 11/23 contains the Dunbeath prospect, a Beatrice level three-way upthrown fault bounded trap.

Within Phase A of the Innovate licence, 3D reprocessing is required followed by a drill or drop decision within 4 years.

  Steve Staley, CEO of Upland Resources Limited, said:

“Following on from our announcement in June of the offer of this award, I am pleased to be able to record that our bidding group has accepted the OGA’s offer and has now been issued with the licences. We already see substantial prospectivity in the acreage which 3D reprocessing work should further derisk and allow us to select a top-ranked drilling candidate.

We look forward to updating the market on this and our Tunisian and Sarawakian projects in due course.”

This announcement contains inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of the Regulation (EU) No 596/2014 on market abuse. Upon the publication of this announcement via the Regulatory Information Service, this inside information is now considered to be in the public domain.

For further information, please contact:

Upland Resources
Steve Staley, CEOTel: 07704 974784
Optiva Securities Limited
Jeremy King (Corporate Finance)Tel: 020 3137 1904
Christian Dennis (Corporate Broker)Tel: 020 3137 1903
FTI Consulting
Ben Brewerton/Molly StewartTel: +44 (0) 20 3727 1708
Flowcomms Ltd
Sasha SethiTel: +44 (0)7891 677441
Upland is an upstream oil & gas company whose highly experienced management team has a track record of creating major value for shareholders in junior oil & gas companies, including Cove Energy plc. The Company has extensive technical and commercial skills and contacts, management having held senior roles in Petronas, Conoco, Shell etc.