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GDF Suez and BP discover new central North Sea field

Release date:
23 October 2014

GDF SUEZ E&P UK Ltd and BP today announced a new exploration discovery in the UK Central North Sea. The discovery, which spans GDF SUEZ operated block 30/1f (licence P1588) and BP operated block 30/1c (licence P363) was flow tested at a maximum rate of 5,350 barrels of oil equivalent per day. The discovery, referred to as ‘Marconi’ by GDF SUEZ and ‘Vorlich’ by BP, is located in the Central North Sea.


Ruud Zoon, Managing Director of GDF SUEZ E&P UK Ltd said: “This is an encouraging exploration discovery in a part of the Central North Sea that needs additional volumes of hydrocarbons to open up development options for several stranded discoveries. The discovery is our third successful well this year and demonstrates a continuing commitment by GDF SUEZ to an active exploration and appraisal drilling programme on the UK Continental Shelf.”


Trevor Garlick, Regional President of BP North Sea said: “As BP marks its 50th year in the North Sea and as the industry looks to maximise  economic  recovery from the basin, increasing exploration activity and finding new ways to collaborate will be critical to realising remaining potential. This discovery is a great example of both.”


The well was drilled by GDF SUEZ E&P UK Ltd as operator, with the Transocean Galaxy II jack- up rig under a joint well agreement between the two licence groups.


Business and Energy Minister Matthew Hancock said: “We are determined to have set the right fiscal and regulatory regimes to make sure we can get the maximum possible economic extraction of oil and gas from the North Sea.”


“This discovery shows exactly what can be achieved  in the North Sea if companies work

together to maximise the considerable potential of remaining oil and gas reserves.”

Further information:

Media contacts




Kerry Birse, +44 (0) 1224 269979, kerry.birse@gdfsuezep.co.uk

The BIG Partnership, Jackie Robinson, +44 (0) 7711 281915, jackie.robinson@bigpartnership.co.uk




BP North Sea press office,  01224 833056

BP London press office,  020 7496 4076, bppress@bp.com

Notes to editors


  • Exploration well 30/1f-13AZ encountered hydrocarbons in a Palaeocene sandstone reservoir in block 30/1c (licence P363 operated by BP) and a subsequent side-track into block 30/1f (licence P1588 operated by GDF SUEZ E&P UK Ltd) confirmed the westerly extension of the discovery.
  • Equity interests in the P1588 licence are operator GDF SUEZ E&P UK Ltd (50.00%) and partners RWE DEA UK SNS Limited (27.78%) and Maersk Oil North Sea Limited (22.22%).
  • Equity interests in the P363 licence are oper ator BP Operating Company Ltd (50.00%) and partner Total E&P UK Ltd (50.00%).

GDF SUEZ E&P activities in the UK


GDF SUEZ, through its subsidiary GDF SUEZ E&P UK Ltd is an increasingly significant player in oil and gas exploration and production in the UK Continental Shelf. Since entering the region in 1997, the company has built up a substantial portfolio o f assets in the Central and Southern North Sea, and West of Shetland, comprising more than 50 licences, 20 as operator*.  The company entered the UK onshore market in October 2013 when it agreed to acquire a 25% share in 13 licences located in Cheshire and the East Midlands from Dart Energy, which is operator of the licences.


GDF SUEZ E&P UK is the operator of the Cygnus development, one of the most significant undeveloped gas fields in the North Sea and employs more than 300 staff and contractors in offices in London and Aberdeen. Cygnus is located in the Southern North Sea, 150 kilometres off the coast of Lincolnshire.  It has gross 2P (proved and probable) reserves of approximately 18 billion cubic metres.  First gas is targeted for late 2015.

*As awarded by DECC




GDF SUEZ develops its businesses (power, natural gas, energy services) around a model based on responsible growth to take up today’s major energy and environmental challenges: meeting energy needs, ensuring the security of supply, fighting against climate change and maximizing the use of resources. The Group provides highly efficient and innovative solutions to individuals, cities and businesses by relying on diversified gas-supply sources, flexible and low-emission power generation as well as unique expertise in four key sectors: independent power production, liquefied natural gas, renewable energy and energy efficiency services. GDF SUEZ employs 147,200 people worldwide and achieved revenues of €81.3 billion in 2013. The Group is listed on the Paris, Brussels and Luxembourg stock exchanges and is represented in the main international indices: CAC 40, BEL 20, DJ Euro Stoxx 50, Euronext 100, FTSE Eurotop 100, MSCI Europe and Euronext Vigeo (World 120, Eurozon e 120, Europe 120 and France 20). GDF SUEZ is also the main shareholder of SUEZ Environment, an expert in water and waste management.


BP in the North Sea


  • The North Sea is an important region for BP and it expects to sustain a significant business here for the long term.
  • Along with its co-venturers, BP is currently embarking on a £10bn investment programme in the North Sea, of which over £7 billion will be spent in the next five years.
  • BP has an active exploration and appraisal programme in the North Sea.
  • The recent 27th licensing round in the UK was BP’s most successful since the 1990s, with BP awarded licences over 14 blocks. BP also secured interests in two new licences in the Barents Sea through Norway’s 22nd offshore licensing round.
  • In April 2014, BP submitted bids to the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change for the 28th licensing round. The results of this round are expected to be announced lat er in 2014.