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To acquire additional 32% WI in Block 9/28a Area B in the North Sea, gaining 8.6 MMBOE 2P.

EnQuest Plc, London, (London: ENQ) plans to acquire 32% working interest in UKCS Block 9/28a Area B in the North Sea through a farm in with Fairfield Acer Ltd., a subsidiary of privately held, Staines, U.K.-based Fairfield Energy Ltd. for up to US$56.6 million (£34.85 million) in development costs.

EnQuest holds 19% interest in the block following its previous purchase of Stratic Energy Corp. and will own 51% pro forma. It will also become operator. Fairfield will retain 20% interest in the block, and the remaining 29% interest is held by Valiant Exploration Ltd.

Area B of the block contains Crawford oil field and the 9/28a -18 Porter oil discovery. Crawford Field is in the Northern North Sea. The initial Crawford development focused on production from the Jurassic Hugin formation. Subsequent appraisal drilling in 2007 confirmed the extension of the field's Triassic reservoir to the north of the previous development wells, and also discovered oil in Porter Field within a separate Tertiary horizon.

The Area B partners are working towards the submission in 2012 of an FDP for the development of the Crawford Triassic reservoir, together with Porter. EnQuest will assume leadership of the field development planning activities with immediate effect, pending the completion of the transaction.

As of year-end 2010, Crawford field and Porter had gross proved and probable reserves of 26.8 million barrels of oil equivalent. EnQuest's interest comprises 8.6 million barrels equivalent.

EnQuest chief executive Amjad Bseisu says, "We are delighted to have reached this agreement with Fairfield, we appreciate their extensive experience and in particular their achievements in bringing the project to its current state. We look forward to working with Fairfield and Valiant on this project and to delivery of a field development plan in 2012."

Fairfield CEO Chris Wright says, "We are very pleased to have reached this farm-out agreement with Enquest, which marks another key moment in Fairfield's strategy of bringing in partners, whilst remaining well placed to benefit from the significant upside of the Crawford and Porter developments."