Shepherd and Wedderburn advises Cluff Natural Resources on acquisition of North Sea Licences

23 June 2016

Shepherd and Wedderburn advises Cluff Natural Resources on acquisition of North Sea Licences

UK law firm, Shepherd and Wedderburn acted for Cluff Natural Resources (CLNR), a natural resources investing company with gas assets in the Southern North Sea, in its acquisition of 5% participating interests in two offshore oil and gas licences from Verus Petroleum, with an option to increase its interests in those licences to 25% and to acquire a 25% interest in an additional licence in the Central North Sea.

Operated by The Parkmead Group, it is estimated that the licences, two of which are effectively drill ready, could contain around 400m barrels of potentially recoverable oil. In order to take advantage of the lower-cost operating environment in the North Sea, it is expected that wells will be drilled in both locations in the next 24 months.

Shepherd and Wedderburn subsequently advised CLNR on the cross assignment of equity positions in two contiguous offshore licence areas with Simwell Resources Ltd and Burgate E&P Ltd. CLNR took the decision to combine the equity position following the identification of a large carboniferous gas prospect which extends across the two licences.

The Shepherd and Wedderburn team who advised CLNR on both transactions included corporate lawyers Stephen Trombala, Tom Swan, Eilidh Gillanders and tax partner, Stephen Miller.

Shepherd and Wedderburn is a leading UK law firm, whose highly regarded Oil & Gas team has an impressive track record in advising independent exploration and production companies in worldwide M&A and capital markets transactions. The team acts for, amongst others, Bowleven, Cairn Energy, Celtique Energie, Tethys Petroleum and over a quarter of the members of The Association of British Independent Oil Exploration Companies (BRINDEX). Recent transactions include: (i) the US$250m sale by Bowleven to LUKOIL and NewAge of certain interests in the Etinde Permit, one of Cameroon’s most promising offshore development areas, (ii) the £585m acquisition by North Sea Midstream Partners from Total of operated interests in the St Fergus Gas Terminal, Frigg UK Pipeline (FUKA) and The Shetland Island Regional Gas Export System (SIRGE), and (iii) the acquisition by Cairn Energy of additional interests in the Kraken development area, UKCS from FirstOil.

Stephen Trombala ,