Cluff Natural Resources: Drilling The Southern North Sea

Published at 10:21AM - 30/08/16

Cluff Natural Resources’ CEO Algy Cluff talks exclusively to Offshore Post on drilling Southern North Sea gas, and moving ahead with the development of fields within the sector.

Southern North Sea Gas

According to Algy Cluff, the company is ‘evangelical’ about drilling for Southern North Sea gas. With five licenses for the sector, Cluff Natural Resources is aiming to start drilling offshore during 2018, possible 2017. 

“There’s a lot of infrastructure of course lying around in the Southern North Sea” proclaims Mr Cluff, “which renders it that much easier and cheaper to develop a field”.

Cluff Natural Resources

Cluff Natural Resources (CNR), was awarded the 5 licences in December 2014, in the UK’s 28th licensing round. The licences incorporate 11 blocks across the UK Southern North Sea in close proximity to the recently developed Breagh Gas Field.

CNR believes this is an under-explored, which is potentially responsive to the latest seismic and drilling technology, where fields can be developed quickly. All of CNR’s licences are 100% owned.

Algy Cluff Interview

Earlier this month, Offshore Post interviewed Algy Cluff on the future of the North Sea, getting his personal insight and 0ver 40 years of experience on what needs to be done to revitilaise the North Sea oil and gas industry. “Geroge Osborn was deaf’, and the Scottish Government conducted a “straight double-cross” he proclaimed.

Interview Transcript

Declan Curry (DC): Hello this is Offshore Post, I’m Declan Curry. Algy Cluff was exploring for oil in the North Sea in the 1970s, after a 40 year gap he’s back. Algy, welcome what is your business in the North Sea today?

Algy Cluff (AC): It is in three parts, we have an option to participate in a well in the Moray Firth, as 25% of that consortium; a similar option in the Central North Sea; and our Real business is in the Southern North Sea where we have a number of blocks, enshrined in five licenses I think, which are all gas prone and which in our judgement are going to have a very exciting potential.

It is in the Southern North Sea that which we are evangelical and believe that there are substantial large gas fields to be discovered.

DC: And what’s your timetable for those fields; when is that gas going to be onshore?

AC: Our timetable to be drill ready, to drill our own licenses, would be 2018 possibly 2017; depending whether we could secure off farm-out arrangement with another party or do it ourselves.

There’s a lot of infrastructure of course lying around in the Southern North Sea which renders it that much easier and cheaper to develop a field than it would’ve been the case when one is pioneering. So the timescale is greatly truncated.

DC: Another aspect of your business was making synthetic gas from coal. Now the Scottish Government had a moratorium on that. Is that part of your business now I’m dead?

AC: We have I think 7 or 8 licenses around the UK, which are prospective for the gasification of huge amounts of coal. We elected to use the Firth of Forth as the principal target and were encouraged to do so by the Scottish government until there was a change of government, a change of leadership; and notwithstanding the fact we were advised that we would not be included in the moratorium on shale we were. a year after we had spent some money on Scottish consultants and some considerable executive time.

So we are wounded by that experience and have put it on hold until such time as we see strong government endorsement.

DC: None of this is cheap of course. What steps are you taking to put the financing in place?

AC: We’re examining what our alternatives are at the moment, and the first prize for us would be to raise the money to drill the southern gas sector.

We’ve taken these options elsewhere in North Sea and certainly we’d like to participate as to out 25% interest in the Moray Firth and the Central North Sea, which will involve us in an expenditure in about £8 million, £4 million pounds for each of those holes.

And that’s focusing on minds, we need to raise that money and we also need to contemplate how we’re going to raise the money to drill our prime target which is the Southern North Sea.

I’ve never been complacent about raising money and I never will be, we can only do our best, but what we can offer in this company since it is free of debt and free of commitments is the impact of which a discovery would have on the market Capitalisation.

DC: Algy Clough it’s been great listening to you thank you for talking to Offshore Post.

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