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01 December 2002

Niche new oil and gas entrants have the technology and economics of size to make North Sea fallow and stranded oil and gas development a reality. But can they get the funding or the fields? By Sean Keating

Read more: [project finance] [north sea oil] [fallow fields] [ramco] [tullow] [acorn energy]

In January 2002 the UK DTI awarded licenses to restart production from the UK's oldest offshore oilfield, Argyll, to two relative newcomers to the market - Tuscan Energy and Acorn Oil and Gas. The deal is one of the flagships of the UK government's fallow fields initiative and the newcomers' success is symptomatic of the development of small, niche, oil and gas exploration/extraction start-ups spawned by mega-mergers at the oil majors in recent years.

The face of the oil and gas business has changed. The oil and gas acquistions market has been frenetic over the past few years. Typical of the movement is ENI acquiring Lasmo who in turn acquired Monument. The combination of market consolidation, restructuring, advances in extraction technology and the political will to extract from what were fallow fields in areas like the North Sea and stranded reserves, have spawned some relative newcomers.

Acorn, Ramco. Tuscan, Eclipse...

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