Northern Petroleum has ditched the licence for the Havant oil prospect and downgraded the resources at two other UK onshore conventional plays.
The AIM-listed explorer said that after discussions with its joint venture partners – which include Magellan Petroleum and Premier Oil – it had decided to relinquish the PEDL256 and PEDL155 licences containing the Havant oil prospect.
The acreage in the Hampshire sector of the Weald basin has been permitted for a well since 2009 but has not seen any drilling.
Northern Petroleum also said that it and Igas Energy had decided to downgrade the Baxter’s Copse and Markwells Wood discoveries from 4.3 million barrels of proven and probable reserves to 2C contingent resources.
“While both assets have the potential to become commercial discoveries, the company believes that further appraisal needs to be undertaken to produce a viable development plan which would lead to commercial production,” Northern Petroleum said.
Markwells Wood partner Egdon Resources admitted in 2012 that the Great Oolite oil discovery had failed to meet expectations after testing.
Igas Energy acquired Baxter’s Copse from Ireland’s Providence Resources in 2012 but has not yet moved ahead with well site selection previously envisaged for the asset.
Northern Petroleum also said it was continuing efforts to sell its UK portfolio as it chases bigger prospects internationally, but that expressions of interests had to date failed to match its valuation of the assets.
Chief executive Keith Bush said that “management time and capital allocated to the UK will be limited” in advance of any sale, which he said would require an offer that recognised the “small but consistent source of income” derived from its Horndean and Avington fields.