Oil and gas – guidance

Oil and gas: fallow blocks and discoveries

How to set up discussions for releases if the current licensees are no longer able to progress towards activity.

On 1st April 2015 certain functions passed from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) a newly created Executive Agency of DECC

Fallow reviews 2014

The fallow process is still producing results for the OGA and its partners in PILOT. The 15th release in 2014 has added 4 new fallow blocks and 18 fallow discoveries still remain on the list from last year.

Fallow Released B blocks

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Fallow Released B discoveries

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Spreadsheet of fallow blocks and discoveries

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What is the fallow process?

Blocks and discoveries are considered fallow after 3 years without significant activity. They are classed B and released if the current licensees are no longer able to progress towards activity due to either misalignment within the partnership, failure to meet economic criteria, other commercial barriers, or a combination of these. Fallow B discoveries that have been released for 2 years, and fallow B blocks released for 1 year, will be relinquished if there are no agreed plans for significant activity.

Revised Guidance for the Fallow Discovery Process

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Revised Guidance for the Fallow Blocks Process

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2015 Fallow discoveries

  • There are 11 fallow B discoveries on the release listing.
  • There are 13 “rescued” fallow discoveries which now have a substantive work programmes agreed with DECC. These are: 13/21a-1A, 14/20-6Z, 14/20b-17 , 15/21a-7, 15/21a-46, 15/21b-47, 20/05a-10Y, 23/16b-1, 23/16c-8, 29/02a-2, 49/09a-5, 98/07-2 and 211/29-10Z.
  • There has been one appraisal well drilling on a fallow discovery, 15/21a-38Z.
  • 3 field development plans on previously fallow discoveries have been approved: Flyndre, Cawdor and Aviat.
  • 1 fallow discovery has been relinquished 22/27a-2.

2015 Fallow blocks

There are 11 released fallow B block subareas that must have significant plans for activity agreed by the Department or be relinquished by 31 December 2015. Nine concern areas outside a field on the block that now need significant activity and two are related to undeveloped discoveries. Eight of these blocks are on licenses issued before the 5th Round.

Update on blocks released in 2014

Three of the block subareas placed on the release list in January 2014 are being relinquished back to field or discovery and one remains on the list and requires action by the Operator.

In 2014, three exploration wells, one appraisal well and 2 sidetracks were drilled that targeted a prospect on previously Fallow blocks or subareas: 14/26a-10, 15/27c-12A, 15/27c-12B, 30/01f-13A & 30/01f-13Z. Since 2002, when the PILOT fallow process began, 132 exploration or appraisal wells targeting prospects on fallow B Blocks have been drilled.

Re-licensing of fallow B blocks

  • Many blocks offered for award in the 28th Round were previously fallow.
  • At least 19 blocks offered for award in the 27th Round were previously fallow blocks.
  • 40 of the blocks offered for award in the 26th round were previously fallow blocks or subareas.
  • 35 of the blocks awarded in the 25th round were previously fallow blocks or subareas.
  • 52 previously fallow blocks were re-licensed in the 24th round.
  • 68 blocks that had been considered fallow B at some time since 2002 were re-licensed in the 23rd round.
  • in the 22nd round, 10 previously fallow blocks were awarded.
  • in the 21st round, six previously fallow blocks were awarded.

Further information

If you’re interested in a particular asset, you should initially approach the named contact (normally the operator) but may also approach partners to see if they are interested in a plan for significant activity.

For further information on the fallow process, contact Jen Brzozowska, Exploration Manager, on 0300 068 6030 or at Jen.Brzozowska@oga.gsi.gov.uk