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Dart Energy assigns CBM licences to GDF SUEZ

World Coal,

Dart Energy has entered into a farm-out agreement relating to 13 of its UK licences with French multinational GDF SUEZ, as part of a broader unconventional gas alliance between the two companies.

Key aspects of the farm-out agreement are:

  • The farm-out relates to 13 licences held by Dart in the UK, located in the Bowland Basin, an area considered highly prospective for unconventional gas. A recent study estimated shale gas resource potential in the basin to range between 822 trillion ft3 and 2281 trillion ft3, with 1329 trillion ft3 as the best estimate.
  • Dart is currently the operator of these licences and holds a 100% interest in each. GDF SUEZ will acquire a 25% working interest in each licence, while Dart will retain the remaining 75% interest and operatorship of each licence.
  • The licences subject to the GDF SUEZ farm-in cover a total area of 1378 km2, representing approximately 38% of Dart’s total UK acreage.
  • GDF SUEZ will pay Dart US$ 12 million in cash, and meet Dart’s 75% share of costs up to US$ 27 million. The funding will support an agreed unconventional exploration and appraisal programme over a three-year period, including drilling up to four shale gas exploration wells and 10 coal bed methane (CBM) exploration wells.

Alongside the farm-out, Dart and GDF SUEZ have established a broader strategic cooperation between the two companies, focussed on unconventional gas activities (and especially shale). This includes provision of various support services from GDF SUEZ in the field of environmental service and water management, and the sharing of best practice.

Dart CEO, John McGoldrick commented: “We are especially pleased that our new partner is GDF SUEZ, a group with significant capabilities, extensive experience and existing businesses across the gas value chain in the U.K. and internationally. We see enormous value in the broader strategic cooperation being implemented between our companies, and we welcome GDF SUEZ’s entry into onshore U.K. unconventionals, bringing valuable expertise at a critical time for the gas industry in this country”.

Jean-Marie Dauger, in charge of GDF SUEZ Global Gas and LNG Business Line added: “We are very confident about the potential of shale gas in the UK, and its anticipated contributions to UK energy security. GDF SUEZ is pleased to enter this first investment in UK shale gas as it complements the large presence of the group in the UK. We look forward to working with our partner, Dart Energy, to unlock the potential of these licences”.

Adapted from press release by Katie Woodward

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