Fallow blocks and discoveries

Fallow blocks and discoveries

Fallow Reviews 2012

For various reasons, DECC is unlikely to be able to carry out the Fallow Block reviews that have been a fixture for September since 2001.

It is hoped that Fallow listings will be compiled before year end and sent to Licensees for review and discussion, but formal meetings will only be requested where considered necessary.

Fallow Discoveries discussions have been set up by the relevant Field Teams, particularly for those Discoveries publicised on the Web in January 2012. The Exploration Team will be contacting the Licensees of released Blocks in the near future.

Any Company who would welcome discussion on the technical aspects of their Licences should contact Jen by e mail: Jen.Brzozowska@decc.gsi.gov.uk

The fallow process is still producing results for DECC and its partners in PILOT. The 13th release in 2012 added ten new fallow blocks and two new fallow discoveries to the list, bringing the total number of fallow discoveries to 14.

What is the fallow process? 

Blocks and discoveries are considered fallow after three years. They are classed B and released if the current licensees are no longer able to progress towards activity due to either misalignment within the partnership, failure to meet economic criteria, other commercial barriers, or a combination of these. Fallow B discoveries that have been released for two years and Fallow B blocks released for one will be relinquished if there are no agreed plans for significant activity.

2012 fallow blocks

There are 10 released Fallow B block subareas that must have significant plans for activity agreed by the Department or be relinquished by 31 December 2012. Many of these have producing fields or discoveries on the block, but it is the area outside the field or discovery area that now needs significant activity. Seven of these blocks were on old licences issued before the 5th Round.


  • There are 14 Fallow B discoveries on the listings, including 12 that were previously released – some for a second time.
  • There are 9 "rescued" fallow discoveries, which now have a substantive work programme agreed with DECC. These are: 13/21a-1A, 15/21a-7, 15/21b-47, 15/22-16, 15/29a-3, 21/20a-5, 21/20b-4, 49/09a-5 and 98/07-2.  
  • No new seismic has been acquired. Two fallow discoveries have had appraisal drilling (30/01c-3 and 30/02-1).
  • Five field development plans on previously fallow discoveries have been approved: Devenick, Clipper South, Falcon, Ensign and York.  Three of these are on 1st Round Licences, which required a short term licence extension.
  • Thirteen fallow discoveries have been relinquished or are in the process of relinquishment, including two on 2nd Round licences (9/10b-1 and 53/05a-8Z). The others include; 4/26-2, 9/23a-30Z, 9/23a-30, 9/19-4, 9/19-3, 44/27-1, 43/25a-2W, 3/07-3, 28/03-1B, 22/19-1 and 206/02-1. 

Update on blocks released in 2011

A well was drilled on one block subarea released in January 2011 (2/5-27). Three of the 11 block subareas placed on the release list in January 2011 are now being totally relinquished, with one more January 2011 released block subarea being partially relinquished back to existing fields or discovery areas. Five of the January 2011 Fallow B block subareas have now been "rescued" (an asset transfer (operatorship) is in progress, or firm plans for significant activity that will result in a drill or drop decision within one year have been agreed between DECC and the licensees).

In 2011, three exploration or appraisal wells were drilled that targeted prospects on previously Fallow blocks or subareas: 2/05-27, 14/26a-9 and 30/2a-9. Since the PILOT Fallow process began in 2002, 122 exploration or appraisal wells targeting prospects on Fallow B Blocks have been drilled.

Re-licensing of Fallow B blocks 

  • 40 of the blocks offered for award in the 26th Round were previously fallow blocks or subareas.
  • 35 of the blocks awarded in the 25th Round were previously fallow blocks or subareas.
  • 52 previously fallow blocks were re-licensed in the 24th Round.
  •  68 blocks that had been considered Fallow B at some time since 2002 were re-licensed in the 23rd Round.
  • In the 22nd Round, 10 previously fallow blocks were awarded.
  • In the 21st Round, six previously fallow blocks were awarded.  

Further Information

If you're interested in a particular asset, you should initially approach the named contact (normally the operator) but may also approach partners to see if they are interested in a plan for significant activity.

For further information on the fallow process, contact Jen Brzozowska, Exploration Manager, on 0300 068 6030 or at Jen.Brzozowska@decc.gsi.gov.uk


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