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    UK Babbage Deals Completed


Spirit Energy has taken over as operator of the UK North Sea Babbage field in which Verus is now the largest licensee.

by: Mark Smedley

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UK Babbage Deals Completed

UK-based producer, Spirit Energy, said December 7 it has taken over as operator of the Babbage gas field and the nearby Cobra licence, in line with announcements made in April and July.

Transfer of operatorship was subject to Premier Oil completing divestment of its interests of 47% in Babbage and 50% in Cobra to fellow UK independent Verus Petroleum, which was completed December 6. Spirit already had a 13% interest in Babbage. Dana Petroleum, owned by South Korean state entity, KNOC, retains the other 40% interest in Babbage.

The normally unmanned Babbage installation came onstream 2010 and has a year-to-date 2018 average gross production of 4,900 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d). The field is named after the British prototype computer designer of the 19th century Charles Babbage.

Premier said December 7 that it has received £30.3mn ($38.7mn) from Aberdeen-based Verus, after adjustments for Babbage cash flows collected by Premier since the effective date of January 1 2018. It said proceeds would be used to pay down its existing debt. Spirit Energy is 69%-owned by Centrica and 31% by Germany’s Stadtwerke Munchen Group.

Premier added that its net worldwide production in 2018 to date averaged 79,400 boe/d, with output since November 1 to date forecast at 92,000 boe/d with a record of 98,700 boe/d on December 4, thanks to the strong performance of Premier-operated Catcher. The company forecasts net full 2018 production of around 80,000 boe/d.