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18 December 2023

Orcadian Energy plc

(“Orcadian Energy”, “Orcadian” or the “Company”) 

33rd Licensing Round Update

Update of 33rd Licensing Round

As announced on 19 January 2023, the Company made three licence applications, two in partnership with other companies and one on its own. One of the applications builds upon Orcadian’s viscous oil experience, and is focused on a discovery with a very large oil in place (c. 900 MMbbl) (“First Licence Application”). The other two applications are focused on gas opportunities, one in the Central North Sea, on the mid-North Sea High, which has a number of shallow gas prospects (“Second Licence Application”); and the other in the Southern North Sea which is a potential gas-to-wire project on an appraised discovery, with integrated carbon capture, which could deliver baseload electricity with minimal emissions (“Third Licence Application”). Early stage indications suggest that, net to Orcadian, the P50 sales gas resource applied for, across the two gas focused applications, could amount to 114 bcf (billion cubic feet) in a discovery, 153 bcf in a near drill-ready prospect and 377 bcf in leads and less mature prospects. However, these are management estimates of resources, are based upon seismic and well log data, are as presented to the NSTA in the Licence Applications, and are provided here for guidance purposes only.

The Directors had previously anticipated that they would hear as to whether the licence applications had been successful during third quarter 2023. As announced by the Company on 7 November 2023, the NSTA has announced a first tranche of awards but this did not cover any of the blocks Orcadian had applied for, as further assessments were required. The Company has now received notice from the NSTA that the NSTA will likely publish the results of the 33rd Licencing round in two further tranches, dependant of the level of further assessment required.

The licences to be granted as part of the results from tranche two are expected be announced in January 2024; and the results from the third and final tranche is anticipated to be later in 1Q 2024.

The Company currently believes that the decision on the First Licence Application and the Second Licence Application will be made during the tranche two process. Further announcements will be made at that time.

Steve Brown, Orcadian’s CEO, said:

The Directors believe the Company has a number of potentially significant value-adding items on the horizon, including completion of the deal with Ping following necessary approvals and consents, and the results from the licence applications during the first quarter 2024. We look forward to updating the market in due course.”

For further information on the Company please visit the Company’s website:



Orcadian Energy plc

+ 44 20 7920 3150

Steve Brown, CEO

Alan Hume, CFO

WH Ireland (Nomad and Joint Broker) +44 20 7220 1666

Katy Mitchell / Andrew de Andrade (Nomad)

Harry Ansell / Fraser Marshall (Corporate Broking)

Tavistock (PR) + 44 20 7920 3150
Nick Elwes / Simon Hudson [email protected]


About Orcadian Energy

Orcadian is a North Sea focused, low emissions, oil and gas development company. In planning its Pilot development, Orcadian has selected wind power to transform oil production into a cleaner and greener process. The Pilot project is moving towards approval and will be amongst the lowest carbon emitting oil production facilities in the world, despite being a viscous crude. Orcadian may be a small operator, but it is also nimble, and the Directors believe it has grasped opportunities that have eluded some of the much bigger companies. As we strike a balance between Net Zero and a sustainable energy supply, Orcadian intends to play its part to minimise the cost of Net Zero and to deliver reliable energy to the UK.

Orcadian Energy (CNS) Ltd, Orcadian’s operating subsidiary, was founded in 2014 and is the sole licensee of P2244, which contains 78.0 MMbbl of 2P Reserves in the Pilot discovery, and of P2482, which contain a further 52.2 MMbbl of 2C Contingent Resources in the Elke and Narwhal discoveries (as audited by Sproule, with both numbers modified to take into account the TGS royalty, see the CPR in the Company’s Admission Document for more details). Within these licences there are also 118 MMbbl of unrisked Prospective Resources (modified for TGS royalty). These licences are in blocks 21/27a, 28/2a and 28/3a, and lie 150 kms due East of Aberdeen.

Pilot, which is the field with the largest reserves in Orcadian’s portfolio, was discovered by PetroFina in 1989 and has been well appraised. In total five wells and two sidetracks were drilled on Pilot, including a relatively short horizontal well which produced over 1,800 bbls/day on test. Orcadian’s proposed low emissions, field development plan for Pilot is based upon a Floating Production Storage and Offloading vessel (FPSO), with over thirty wells to be drilled by a Jack-up rig and provision of power from a floating wind turbine.

Orcadian has entered into a conditional sale and purchase agreement with Ping Petroleum UK plc (“Ping”) which details the terms under which Ping will farm-in to the Pilot development project. Upon conclusion of this deal Orcadian would have an 18.75% stake in the Pilot development with all pre-first oil development costs paid by Ping.

Emissions per barrel produced are expected to be about a tenth of the 2021 North Sea average, and less than half of the lowest emitting oil facility currently operating on the UKCS. On a global basis this places the Pilot field emissions at the low end of the lowest 5% of global oil production.