Antrim Energy Inc. (TSX:AEN) (AIM:AEY) ("Antrim" or the "Company"), Antrim, an international oil and gas exploration and production company headquartered in Calgary, Canada, today announced that it has signed an agreement with Valiant Petroleum plc to proceed with early installation of subsea facilities for the development of the Fionn Field in the UK Northern North Sea block 211/22a South East Area (the "Fionn Agreement"). Antrim holds a 35.5% working interest the block.
The Fionn Field was previously referred to as the Central Causeway fault block. In December 2011, the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change ("DECC") assigned separate field designations to the Fionn Field and the Causeway Field, the latter containing the two fault blocks previously referred to as the East Causeway and Far East Causeway fault blocks. A Field Development Plan ("FDP") for the Causeway Field was approved by DECC, as announced on December 28 2011, with first oil expected in mid-2012.
Under the terms of the Fionn Agreement, various subsea facilities will be installed during the first half of 2012 coincident with the installation of facilities for the Causeway Field as a pre-investment for the future tie-in of the Fionn Field in order to minimize development costs. Valiant has agreed to finance Antrim's working interest share of the Fionn Field pre-investment costs. Antrim has the option for three months following first oil production from the Causeway Field to opt out of participating in the Fionn Field development, or to confirm its participation in the Fionn Field development by paying its 35.1% working interest share of the pre-investment costs plus interest in respect to the financing.
Coincident with the Fionn Agreement, a Development Plan and Budget ("DP&B") for the Fionn Field has been agreed to by the joint venture partners. Operator Valiant Causeway Limited will draft an FDP for the Fionn Field, which is expected to be submitted to DECC for approval in the first quarter of 2012. It is planned that Fionn production will be combined with the Causeway Field production, transported for processing to the Cormorant North platform operated by TAQA Bratani Limited, and exported to the Sullom Voe terminal for sale. First oil from the Fionn Field is anticipated in mid-2013. Development of the Fionn Field is subject to approval from DECC. Antrim's working interest share of development costs for the Fionn Field, including the pre-investment costs, is estimated to be approximately US$22 million.