Operations Onshore France

United Kingdom Offshore

Northern North Sea

Central North Sea

Southern North Sea

United Kingdom Onshore

Cleveland Basin

Romania Offshore

Pelican - Block XIII

Midia - Block XV

Netherlands Offshore


France Onshore

St Laurent

Paris Basin


Sterling was part of a group that applied for a license in the Adour-Arzacq sub-basin of the prolific Aquitaine Basin of southern France. Formal award of the St Laurent license was made in 2002 for an initial three year term. The license has since been extended to 2015. Sterling has a 33.423% interest in this block and the operator’s discussions regarding a potential farm out are progressing well.

In the Paris basin Sterling, as operator, has been awarded a total of 9.5 blocks with a working interest ranging from 25% to 50%. The applications have passed the period of gazetting and are currently awaiting final approval from the Secretary of State. With a gross area of some 150,000 acres, the blocks have the potential for conventional traps in the Jurassic and Triassic formations which are productive in nearby fields. Within the shales, there are several distinct carbonate, silt and sand units that are known to be oil bearing from old well results. The source potential oil volumes of the Liassic section are believed to be very significant and analogue well types have good potential initial production rates. Following governmental review, the recent changes to French law banning hydraulic fracking were invoked under the constitutional environmental principle of “precaution.” The French government will now undertake to research and understand further the technical and environmental realities of fracking. The eventual outcome of this research leaves the door open to re-instatement of fracking techniques; however an increased level of regulation and prescription is expected. No drilling is planned by Sterling until 2012 in the Paris Basin, although a multi-well drilling program is planned for next year on an adjacent license and its outcome will assist us in developing our own drilling plans going forward.


Onshore France


The St Laurent license covers some 125,280 acres and is located 20 km northwest of the giant Lacq field. There are numerous occurrences of hydrocarbons on the St Laurent license including an undeveloped accumulation of heavy oil discovered by the Grenade Sur Adour-1 well in 1975.

The Grenade Sur Adour-1 well encountered a 97 metre column of heavy oil (13° API) in a Cretaceous reef carbonate within a stratigraphic trap. The joint venture obtained an independent determination of the significant oil in place associated with the Grenade heavy oil discovery.

The original well produced 70 barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) per day compared to the 200 to 300 BOE per day now anticipated. During early 2008 the Grenade-3 well located on the St Laurent permit was completed and the reservoir section encountered lacked adequate porosity and permeability and thus the well was suspended. The geological model has been re-evaluated to determine an alternate drilling location back towards the original Grenade -1 discovery well.

In addition to the Grenade discovery, significant exploration potential exists on the block. The operator has mapped a very significant undrilled Triassic known as Audignon. The license has been renewed for a further 5 year term and future activity will focus on a sidetrack of the Grenade-3 well and the farm out of the large Audignon prospect for drilling during 2011.


Sterling as operator in November 2008 applied for a total of 9.5 blocks in the Paris Basin with working interests ranging from 25 to 50 percent. Covering 150,000 acres gross, the blocks offer potential for conventional traps in Jurassic and Triassic-age targets, which are productive in nearby fields. Sterling plans to undertake operations to explore and appraise the conventional prospectivity in the licences during 2012.

Within the shales are several distinct carbonate, silt and sand units that previous drilling established as oil-bearing. The potential oil-source volumes of the Liassic section are believed to be very significant and analogue well types have had good initial production rates. Sterling's first drilling on its operated licences could come as early as 2012.

Onshore France