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United Oil & Gas PLC - Expands Portfolio With Benin Farm In

RNS Number : 3829S
United Oil & Gas PLC
11 March 2019

United Oil & Gas PLC / Index: LSE / Epic: UOG / Sector: Oil & Gas

11th March 2019

United Oil & Gas PLC ("United" or the "Company") 

Farms in to Bénin Licence


United Oil & Gas Plc, the oil and gas exploration and development company, is pleased to announce that it has signed an option agreement with Elephant Oil Ltd ("Elephant") to farm in to their Block B onshore acreage in Bénin, potentially taking a 20% interest in the production sharing agreement ("PSC").  


The Bénin Onshore Block B is located in the Dahomey Embayment (Coastal Basin) and covers an area of 4,590 sq km (approximately 1.1 million acres). The Block is located to the west of Bénin's capital Cotonou continuing to the Togo border.


The Dahomey Embayment of onshore Benin is a frontier area, with no wells drilled in it to date. However, the licence is surrounded by prolific hydrocarbon producing regions, and there are excellent positive indications of a working petroleum system. Not only has a working system been demonstrated in the Shelfal area offshore Benin - with the Seme and Dahomey fields containing approximately 100mmbbls reserves, but wells drilled along the coast in the same Dahomey Embayment in onshore Ghana and Nigeria have encountered hydrocarbons.  Indeed, oil and gas seeps have been reported from water wells within Benin Block B, and an extensive tar belt, potentially indicating the migration of oil through the targeted Cretaceous stratigraphy of Block B, has been reported to the north east of the area.


At this point, the Block B licence data is limited to a single seismic line and a CGG-acquired airborne Falcon Gravity Gradiometer survey.  This data suggests the presence of numerous large structures in the licence, with the potential to hold >200mmbbls.  The Allada structure has already been identified by Elephant Oil as a prospect. 


Under the farm in option agreement, United have agreed to fund passive seismic and field studies up to a value of $175k.  The completion of the passive seismic programme is being targeted for April.  The goal of the proposed work programme will be to calibrate the depth to basement and obtain further information on the oil and gas seeps.  This will further de-risk maturity and migration in the area ahead of the completion of a final decision to exercise the farm in option.


If United chooses to exercise the option, then the Company will farm into the PSC for a 20% interest and will be responsible to fund 30% of the non-drilling and 20% of the drilling costs in the Phase 1 work programme as approved under the PSC.  United would also pay Elephant the sum of US$260,000, representing one quarter of the pro rata (20%) past costs expended by Elephant on the prospect, with the remaining US$780,000 paid in three equal six monthly instalments.


United CEO Brian Larkin

"We are delighted to take a position in this exciting new opportunity.  The new licence is a great fit with the United business model, where we are continuing to build a portfolio of near-term low risk assets and a viable producing business based in Europe, with carefully selected frontier exploration licences with transformational upside in South America and Africa.


"United has, for some time, stated that our technical and commercial teams have been actively assessing a number of new opportunities that are development and production focussed. Indeed, a number of these more mature opportunities are under NDA and nearing advanced stages of due diligence and commercial negotiation; however, when this early stage, high-impact opportunity in Benin came to our attention, we immediately considered ourselves fortunate to be able to take a position instantly bulking up and adding further diversification to our high-impact portfolio offerings.  This agreement in Benin is additional to our existing pipeline of potential near-term acquisitions and joint ventures.


"As with our assets in Jamaica, the scale of this new licence in Benin and its proximity to other working hydrocarbon systems lend it to having huge potential high-impact upside with early data suggesting the presence of numerous large structures.


"Through working in Ghana and the Cote d'Ivoire, the United management has significant experience of Western Africa.  As with our other frontier exploration acreage in Jamaica, we believe that Benin can be transformational for United and it is indeed a testament to the technical and commercial skills of the wider team in being able to identify and assess such exceptional opportunities and speedily onboard these to the growing United portfolio.  This excellent opportunity has been added to our portfolio at a very small initial commitment and is one which we look forward to continuing to update investors upon as we work with our new partners to further derisk and eventually market this exciting new play."


Dr. Jonathan Leather, an Executive Director of the Company, who has over 20 years of relevant experience in the oil and gas industry, has approved the information contained in this announcement. Dr Jonathan Leather is a member of the Petroleum Exploration Society of Great Britain and the Society of Petroleum Engineers.


This announcement contains inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of EU Regulation 596/2014.



For more information please visit the Company's website at www.uogplc.com or contact: 


United Oil & Gas Plc (Company)

Brian Larkin

[email protected]

Optiva Securities Limited (Broker)

Christian Dennis

+44 (0) 20 3137 1902

Beaumont Cornish Limited (Financial Adviser)

Roland Cornish and Felicity Geidt

+44 (0) 20 7628 3396

Murray (PR Advisor)

+353 (0) 87 6909735

Joe Heron



[email protected]

St Brides Partners (Financial PR/IR)

Frank Buhagiar and Juliet Earl

+44 (0) 207 236 1177


Notes to Editors


United Oil & Gas plc (UOG) is listed on the main market of the London Stock Exchange. United was established to explore, appraise and develop low risk assets in Europe and to develop higher risk, higher impact exploration projects in the Caribbean, Latin America and Africa.


The following table outlines the Company's licence interests:





United Interest

 Next Stage of Development


Podere Gallina Licence

Po Valley Energy Limited


CPR Published

Infrastructure build 2019

Production in 2020

Further seismic to identify other opportunities in licence 2019


Waddock Cross Field

Egdon Resources UK Limited


CPR Published

Development drilling targeted in 2019


PL090 Exploration

Egdon Resources UK Limited


Technical work to de-risk exploration targets continuing



Corallian Energy Limited


Results of Colter drill currently under evaluation.


PEDL 330

Corallian Energy Limited


Technical work to de-risk exploration targets continuing


PEDL 345

Corallian Energy Limited


Technical work to de-risk exploration targets continuing



United Oil & Gas Plc


CPR published

Seismic reprocessing underway ahead of likely Farm Down Process



Tullow Jamaica Ltd


CPR published

Interpretation of Seismic ongoing ahead of Farm Down Process


This information is provided by RNS, the news service of the London Stock Exchange. RNS is approved by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a Primary Information Provider in the United Kingdom. Terms and conditions relating to the use and distribution of this information may apply. For further information, please contact [email protected] or visit www.rns.com.

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