The Company announced in May that it had exchanged its 50 percent interest in the UKCS Block 16/3d (Cairngorm) for a 10 percent interest in the Netherlands F and L Quad licences held by Enquest PLC. The Cairngorm licence, which was awarded in the UK 26 th Offshore Licensing Round earlier this year, was not regarded as a core asset, and this transaction will further optimize Sterling's portfolio in the highly prospective F and L Quad licences in the Dutch North Sea.
In late May, Sterling's wholly owned subsidiary in
, Midia Resources SRL ("Midia"), obtained approval from the National Agency for Mineral Resources ("NAMR") for an interest in the 1,000 square kilometre Romanian Black Sea concession Block 25 (Luceafarul). Midia has obtained a 50 percent interest and is operator. Petro Ventures Europe BV holds the remaining 50 percent interest. Block 25 was one of a number of 10th Round offshore concessions awarded in
and subsequently ratified by the government in
. This shallow water block, to the west of and adjacent to Sterling's
, contains an existing gas discovery and multiple exploration plays, has existing 2D seismic coverage and has been assessed by an independent reserves evaluator.
This procurement of an interest in Block 25 follows the announcement in mid-March of NAMR`s approval of Sterling`s procurement of a 40 percent interest in the 1,000 square kilometre Block 27 (Muridava) concession. This shallow water block is adjacent to the Pelican Block, in which Sterling currently holds a 65 percent interest, and contains multiple exploration plays, has existing 2D seismic coverage and contains an existing discovery well. The Muridava Block is a highly prospective block and shooting of 3D seismic over it is taking place this summer, with the intention to drill on the Block as early as 2013. The procurement of interests in both Blocks 25 and 27 is consistent with the Company`s strategy in the Romanian Black Sea of continuing to build upon the existing offshore acreage to complement the existing interests in the Midia and Pelican Blocks.