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Upland Resources Ltd Execution by DECC of East Midlands Licence

Upland (LSE:UPL), the oil and gas company actively building a portfolio of attractive upstream assets, is pleased to announce that the UK Oil and Gas Authority ("OGA") has today announced that the Department of Energy & Climate Change ("DECC") has executed Petroleum Exploration and Development Licence 299 ("PEDL299") in respect of Block SK46c, following its award to the Company's wholly-owned subsidiary, Upland Resources (UK Onshore) Limited ("Upland UK"), and its bid partners [as announced on 17 December 2015].

Block SK46c includes the Hardstoft oil field and the Hardstoft East prospect, which were the focus of the original application by Upland UK and its bid partners.



·     Hardstoft is a low risk, low cost asset with a high percentage chance of success (80% for the contingent resources and 64% for the prospective resources).

·     Upland UK is fully funded for its share of the costs of work and supported by highly experienced and strong consortium partners.

·     Hardstoft was the first oil discovery in the UK, first drilled in 1919 and produced for 5 years. Upland believes that a modern high-angle well in the Hardstoft structure could access reserves over a much larger area than can have been seen by the original wells.

·     Total Hardstoft resource net to Upland, based on the existing Competent Person's Report prepared for the Company, is an estimated 1.6875 MMbbl.


Upland CEO, Steve Staley, commented:-

"Upland UK and its partners are delighted to have entered into the Petroleum Exploration and Development Licence for Block SK46c. This is an important and very positive step for the Upland Group's ambitions to build a robust portfolio of high-impact assets - especially when considering the lowered risk characteristics of the Hardstoft asset and its low cost of development.

Oil first flowed at Hardstoft in 1919 and continued to do so without producing any significant volume of water for five years. At that time, the technology was limited to simple vertical wells and it is likely that the wellbore produced oil only from the matrix of the Carboniferous limestone reservoir. The Upland Board believes that the bulk of the hydrocarbons here lie within natural, semi-vertical fractures in the limestone which would likely not have been crossed by the old wells. However, a new, semi-horizontal well should cross these fractures and allow production from them as well as the matrix in this conventional play. In addition, new mapping of the Hardstoft structure indicates that the old wells were probably not drilled on the crest of the structure; hence they would only have accessed part of the oil column.

With a high degree of confidence in success and relatively low costs, this is exactly the type of good risk:reward ratio asset that the Upland Board was seeking as the first building block in a robust portfolio. We look forward to working with our partners, who bring impressive strength and experience to the team. The execution of PEDL299 is the end result of extensive technical work by Upland UK and its bid partners.

In addition to PEDL299, we have not been idle with regards to our commitment to add other high impact, low-cost assets to our portfolio. We are actively assessing a number of additional attractive assets in the UK, North Africa and South-East Asia.

We look forward to updating shareholders as opportunities develop."


PEDL 299

The confirmation of the execution by DECC of PEDL299 follows the announcement on 17 December 2015 by the OGA of awards under the 14th UK Onshore Oil and Gas Licensing Round, including of the award of PEDL299 in respect of Block SK46c in the East Midlands to Upland UK, and its bid partners -  Europa Oil & Gas Limited ("Europa Oil & Gas") and Shale Petroleum (UK) Limited ("Shale Petroleum") and INEOS Upstream Limited ("INEOS") (as operator).  

The initial term of PEDL299 is the period of 5 years beginning with the start date (21 July 2016), with the second term being the period of 5 years beginning with the day after the initial term ends and the 'production period' being the period of 20 years beginning with the day after the second term ends.


Block SK46c

The Hardstoft and Hardstoft East structures lie within Block SK46c, which is one of the two blocks [originally] applied for by Upland UK and its original bid partners, as referred to in the Company's prospectus dated 15 October 2015 (the "Prospectus"), a copy of which is available on the Company's website at http://uplandres.com/investors/.

Block SK46c lies to the north west of Mansfield in the East Midlands Petroleum Province. The emphasis is the rejuvenation of the historic, conventional Hardstoft Oil Field in Block SK46c. This potential was identified by Upland UK and the securing of a permit over it was the primary objective of Upland UK's and its bid partners' application.

The following table shows the participating interests for Upland UK, Europa Oil & Gas, Shale Petroleum and INEOS in Block SK46c both prior to and following the assignments of Shale Petroleum's interest[/changes in interests] announced by the Company on 4 October 2016:-


Prior Interest

Proposed Interests*

Upland UK



Europa Oil & Gas



Shale Petroleum



INEOS (Operator)



*Subject to approval by the Oil & Gas Authority

Note that the above table represents interests in the conventional prospectivity of PEDL299. INEOS has 100% of the interest in the unconventional prospectivity.

Reflecting the differing exploration emphases of the partners, the interests as per the table apply to all oil & gas plays in Block SK46c below the top of the Dinantian Limestone and all hydrocarbon accumulations that are part of the same hydrocarbon column above it, these being 'conventional' hydrocarbon plays. INEOS has the rights and obligations relating to the other, primarily unconventional, oil & gas plays ('shale gas' and 'shale oil', typically requiring fracking) above the Dinantian Limestone in Block SK46c. The Hardstoft accumulation is part of the deeper zone in which Upland UK has its 25% equity interest.

An independent Competent Person's Report dated 16 September 2015 and contained in Part XV of the Prospectus ("CPR") prepared by Blackwatch Petroleum Services Limited ("Blackwatch") for Upland estimates there to be 3.10 MMbbl of contingent recoverable resource in Hardstoft plus 3.65 MMbbl prospective resource in Hardstoft East (making a total of 6.75 MMbbl resource), all sitting in Block SK46c and on a 'best' or 'central case' basis. Total resource net to Upland UK, based on Blackwatch's CPR, is estimated at 1.6875 MMbbl.  Within the CPR, Blackwatch estimates the chance of success for the contingent resource at 80% and 64% for the prospective resource. Due to its potential to be value accretive at an oil price below US$30 per barrel, the Company considers the Hardstoft structures to be economically robust and valuable assets.


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