RockRose Energy has announced, subject to receipt of approval by the Secretary of State, it will be passing operatorship of the Brae Area in the North Sea to TAQA Bratani.
This follows court proceedings brought by TAQA and the other joint venture partners, JX Nippon and Spirit Energy in December 2019. The proceedings related to the notice of discharge served on Marathon Oil UK (MOUK), as operator. There is no strategic or financial consequence to RockRose, as no partner under a Joint Operating Agreement (JOA) can benefit from being operator.
The notice of discharge was served on MOUK prior to its acquisition by RockRose on 1 July 2019 and the possibility of this outcome was referred to in the prospectus published by the Company on 19 July 2019. Throughout the process, subsequent to the notice having been received, RockRose has remained committed to ensuring the best possible outcome for the Brae Area, its staff, and for the joint venture partners.
RockRose will work with TAQA during the transition process to ensure there is no disruption to ongoing operations (including the current drilling programme at West Brae), and to ensure staff are fully supported throughout. The handover is expected to be completed in the second half of the year.
Since completion of the Marathon Acquisition RockRose has made a material positive impact in the Brae Area, both for the staff and the assets. Achievements, which have been realised in conjunction with our joint venture partners, include:
Commenting, Andrew Austin, Rockrose, Executive Chairman, said: "Our focus throughout this process has been to ensure the best possible outcome for the Brae Area, the staff working on the assets, and for the joint venture partners. We are proud of the role we have played in furthering the Government's Maximising Economic Recovery (MER) strategy in the short time we have operated the assets. We look forward to working with TAQA to support a smooth transition and to minimise any disruption once approval from the Secretary of State has been obtained. For RockRose, this change is financially and strategically neutral and we look forward to seeing the assets continue to deliver for the Company and its shareholders".