Europa is involved in a number of exploration licences in the UK - onshore in the East Midlands and the Weald, and offshore in the Southern North Sea.

The East Midlands

PEDL180 (Wressle)

PEDL180 is home to the Wressle oil discovery which lies 5km southeast of, and along the same structural trend as, the Europa-operated Crosby Warren field which has been producing oil for almost 30 years. The field was discovered by the Wressle-1 conventional exploration well which was drilled to a total depth of 2,240m (1,814m TVDSS) on 23 August 2014. Petro-physical evaluation of MWD (measurement whilst drilling) log data indicated over 30m measured thickness of potential hydrocarbon pay in three main intervals:

  • Ashover Grit - up to 6.1m measured thickness of potential hydrocarbon pay
  • Wingfield Flags - up to 5.64m
  • Penistone Flags - up to 19.8m

Four intervals were tested between February & March 2015 flowing an aggregate 710 boepd during testing operations:

  • Ashover Grit - 80 bopd and 47 thousand cubic feet of gas per day (mcfd), free flow;
  • Wingfield Flags - up to 182 bopd and 0.456 million cubic feet of gas per day (mmcfd), free flow;
  • Penistone Flags zone 3 - up to 1.7 mmcfd and up to 12 bopd, free flow;
  • Penistone Flags zone 3a - 77 bopd, swabbed

The results facilitated the design of an Extended Well Test (EWT) programme to quantify the production levels that could be attained from pumped production. Reservoir engineering analyses indicate an initial production flow rate of 500 bopd gross from the Ashover Grit interval. A CPR was issued on 26 September 2016 which identified gross 2P reserves on the Wressle structure of 0.65 mmboe in the Ashover and Wingfield Flags and gross 2C contingent resources of 1.86 million boe in the Penistone Flags. The EWT provided the basis for the Field Development Plan (FDP) which was submitted on 8 September 2016. An application for planning permission and applications for Environment Agency permits were submitted in June 2016. First oil at Wressle is targeted for 2017.

Europa has a 30% working interest share in the prospect with its partners Egdon Resources (operator) 25%, Celtique 33.3% and Union Jack 11.7%. On 24th November 2016, Europa agreed the sale of a 10% interest in PEDL180 and 182 to Upland Resources (UK Onshore) Limited for GBP1.85 million. Completion of the sale is subject to planning, EA and FDP approvals.

PEDL182 (Broughton North)

Adjacent and north of PEDL180, PEDL182 holds the Broughton North prospect. The well was drilled by BP in 1984 and discovered oil.

Broughton North is in a fault block immediately to the north-west of Wressle, and as a result, ERCE Equipoise in its capacity as a Competent Person has assigned a high geological chance of success of 40% to 49% to the prospect as well as gross mean unrisked prospective resources of 0.6 million boe.

Europa has a 30% working interest share in the prospect with its partners Egdon Resources (operator) 25%, Celtique 33.3% and Union Jack 11.7%. On 24th November 2016, Europa agreed the sale of a 10% interest in PEDL180 and 182 to Upland Resources (UK Onshore) Limited for GBP1.85 million. Completion of the sale is subject to planning, EA and OGA approvals.


Further to the east is PEDL181. With phase 1 work obligations fulfilled by the drilling of the Kiln Lane well in 2015, Europa has entered into the second phase of the licence.

Following analysis of seismic and geological data, together with the results of the Kiln Lane well, Europa elected to retain an area of 160km2 in the southeast of the licence and relinquish the remaining 380km2. The retained area provides exposure to the conventional and unconventional hydrocarbon potential of the Humber basin. It has technical synergy with the adjacent licence PEDL334, which was awarded to an Egdon led group in the 14th Round for the purpose of conventional and unconventional exploration. 

Europa has a 50% interest in and is the operator of PEDL181 in the Humber Basin, with Egdon Resources UK Limited and Celtique Energie Petroleum Ltd, each holding a 25% interest.

PEDL299 (Hardstoft)

This is a one block (SK46c) licence located west of Mansfield, Derbyshire.

PEDL299 contains the Hardstoft oil field. This was discovered in 1919 by the UK’s first ever exploration well and produced 26,000 barrels of oil from Carboniferous limestone reservoir. A CPR on Hardstoft, issued by joint venture partner Upland Resources, identified gross 2C contingent resources of 3.1 million boe and gross 3C contingent resources of 18.5 million boe in PEDL299. Production testing methodologies for carbonate reservoirs have evolved since 1919, which has the potential to allow commercial oil flowrates to be obtained.

Europa holds a 25% interest in the conventional prospectivity of PEDL299 alongside Upland Resources (25%) and INEOS the operator (50%). INEOS has all the rights and obligations relating to unconventional oil and gas plays ('shale gas' and 'shale oil').

PEDL343 (Cloughton)

Further north, this licence is located in the Cleveland Basin on the coast north of Scarborough covering blocks SE99a and TA09.

PEDL343 is operated by Third Energy and contains the Cloughton gas discovery made by Bow Valley. An exploration well in 1986 flowed a small amount of gas to surface on production test from Carboniferous sandstone reservoirs. Europa regards Cloughton as a gas appraisal opportunity with the critical challenge being to obtain commercial flowrates from future production testing operations.

Europa has a 35% interest in the licence with Arenite Petroleum Limited (15%), Third Energy UK Gas Ltd (20%), Egdon Resources UK Ltd (17.5%) and Petrichor (12.5%).

Weald Basin

PEDL143 (Holmwood)

South of Dorking in Surrey, PEDL143 contains the Holmwood conventional oil prospect. Holmwood is predicted to have conventional Jurassic sandstone and limestone reservoirs which are proven to be productive at the nearby Brockham oil field and at the Horse Hill oil discovery. The Holmwood prospect has been assigned gross mean prospective resources of 5.6 million boe with a range of 1 to 11 million barrels. Were it to come in at 5.6 million boe, Holmwood would become the fifth largest onshore oil field in the UK. As a result, Europa regards Holmwood as one of the best undrilled prospects onshore UK.

Planning permission has been granted to drill a temporary exploratory borehole to a depth of 1,400m. The well is being planned for drilling in 2017 and has been assigned a geological chance of success by Europa of 1 in 3. Europa is operator with a 32.5% interest in the licence and has a partial carry on its share of the exploration well costs up to a cap of GBP3.2 million.

The results of the nearby Horse Hill well in PEDL137 which lies 12km to the east are relevant to the Holmwood prospect. Horse Hill is along-strike in a very similar geological structure and correlation of seismic data indicates that the Holmwood well will penetrate a similar stratigraphic section. In addition to producing oil from Portland sandstone reservoirs, Horse Hill also produced oil from micritic limestone formations in the Kimmeridge section. One of the peculiarities of limestone reservoir rocks (compared with sandstones) is that typically there are no, or very weak, direct hydrocarbon shows whilst drilling and often only inconclusive indications of hydrocarbons on electric logs. It is therefore encouraging that Horse Hill yielded 1,365 bopd aggregate flowrate from two limestone intervals, which suggests it is possible that the micritic limestone may be a “missed pay” in the Weald basin.

Europa has a 32.5% working interest in the licence, UK Oil & Gas Investments plc 30%, Egdon Resources 18.4%, Altwood Petroleum 1.6%, Union Jack oil 7.5% and Warwick Energy 10%.

Southern North Sea

Block 41/24

This is a promote licence awarded in July 2015 over Block 41/24 in the Southern North Sea to a joint venture comprising Europa and Arenite Petroleum Limited. The licence was awarded as part of the 28th Seaward Licensing Round. Block 41/24 adjoins the Yorkshire coast and contains the Maxwell gasfield which was discovered in Permian Zechstein carbonates by Total with the drilling of offshore well 41/24a-1 in 1969. Two follow-up appraisal wells (41/24a-2 by Total 1981 and 41/24-3 by Conoco 1992) targeted this fractured carbonate reservoir and flowed gas and condensate. The exploration emphasis of the licence is to address the Carboniferous prospectivity in the Namurian and Dinantian sequences. The adjoining onshore extension of the Cleveland basin contains a number of gas fields and discoveries including Kirby Misperton, Ebberstone Moor and Cloughton.

The promote licence is for two years duration and requires financial, technical and environmental capacity to be in place and a firm drilling (or agreed equivalent substantive activities) commitment to have been made by the end of the second year.