October 29, 2012 / 8:01 AM / in 5 years

Inpex, JX Nippon Oil win North Sea exploration rights

TOKYO, Oct 29 (Reuters) - JX Nippon Oil and Gas Exploration
Corp and Inpex Corp were among companies that won oil
and gas exploration rights for blocks in the North Sea, the
Japanese firms said on Monday.
    JX Nippon Oil will drill for oil and gas in 18 blocks in the
central North Sea and the west of Shetland area, the Japanese
company said in a statement.
    It will be the operator for five blocks in the Shetland
area, while GDF Suez, OMV AG and A.P. Moller-Maersk
 were assigned as operators for the remaining 13,
said JX Nippon, which is involved in all the blocks. 
    E.ON AG, Eni SPA, BP Plc and
Idemitsu Kosan Co of Japan are also involved in the
    Inpex, Japan's largest energy explorer, said in a separate
statement it won three blocks in the southeast and south, along
with Centrica Resources Ltd, a subsidiary of Centrica Plc
, and a U.K. unit of Statoil ASA. 
    Centrica, the operator of the blocks, and Statoil have 35
percent stakes in the venture, while Inpex has 30 percent.
    "The offshore area near Shetland Island, where the blocks
Inpex won lie, is an area where not many exploration activities
have been conducted, and significant oil and natural gas
discovery is expected," Inpex said in the statement.
    The three blocks cover an area of about 220 square kms (85
square miles) and lie under water depths of between 300 and 700
metres (2,300 feet), Inpex said.
 Results of North Sea licensing round, according to JX Nippon
and Inpex: 
 Areas               Partners                  Blocks
 West of Shetland    JX (Op), Idemitsu         205/4c
 West of Shetland    JX (Op), GDF Suez,        214/23, 214/24,
                     Idemitsu                  214/28, 214/29
 West of Shetland    OMV (Op), JX, E.ON        213/5, 214/1,
                                               214/4c, 215/30,
                                               216/26, 216/27
 West of Shetland    GDF Suez (Op), JX         219/23, 219/24,
 Central North Sea   Maersk (Op), JX, ENI, BP  22/24f, 22/25f
 Central North Sea   GDF Suez (Op), JX,        30/2e, 30/3b
 Southeast, South    Centrica (Op), Inpex,     214/28, 214/29,
                     Statoil                   214/30
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