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The purchase has an effective date of 1 September 2012. Tullow is also announcing today that it intends to begin a process to dispose of its exploration, development and production assets in the UK and Dutch Southern North Sea (“SNS”) gas basin. These two transactions follow Tullow's strategy of active portfolio management and monetisation of non-core assets and will enhance the Group’s considerable oil exploration portfolio.

A conference call hosted by Tullow Executives will be held at 0800hrs UK time today. Details can be found at the bottom of this release.

Acquisition of Spring Energy

Spring is a Norwegian oil exploration company which holds 28 offshore licences across Norway’s continental shelf in North, Norwegian and Barents Seas covering just over 18,000 sq km. Spring is a very successful oil explorer having made six commercial discoveries out of 12 wells drilled since 2008. In 2013-14, Spring currently has plans to drill up to 16 exploration wells of which three are operated. Tullow’s assessment of Spring’s exploration portfolio is that it contains in excess of 230 mmboe of risked prospective resources and has existing reserves and resources of 24 mmboe. The vendors of Spring are HitecVision, a private equity company (87.6%) and other shareholders (12.4%) including some current Spring staff.

Spring has an experienced team of 37 people based in Oslo who have a successful track record of finding and monetising Norwegian oil discoveries. The Spring team will form the basis of Tullow Norge AS. Spring’s Chief Executive, Roar Tessem, becomes Managing Director of Tullow Norge and will be responsible for managing Tullow’s assets offshore Norway and Greenland.

Following Tullow’s pre-qualification as an Operator on the Norwegian Continental Shelf earlier this year, the acquisition of Spring enables us to rapidly build a strong platform for future growth in Norway. In common with Tullow, Spring recently applied for licences in Norway’s 22nd licence round.

In addition to the purchase price, a bonus payment has also been agreed with the vendors in the event of commercial exploration success. This payment is limited to four specific prospects and will be paid on a sliding scale up to a maximum of $150 million per prospect and $300 million in aggregate. This acquisition remains subject to approval from the Norwegian Ministries of Energy and Finance.

Disposal of UK and Dutch SNS gas assets

Tullow is also announcing today that it intends to begin a process to divest its exploration, development and production assets in the UK and Dutch Southern North Sea. These gas assets currently produce approximately 18,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. It is hoped that this process will be completed by the end of 2013.

The Southern North Sea business has been highly successful for Tullow and a key contributor to the Group’s growth over the past decade. However, following exploration and development success in Ghana, Kenya and Uganda, these assets are now non-core to the Group and no longer fit within Tullow’s light oil focused portfolio.  

Jeffries International Ltd have been appointed to manage the sale of these assets.

Aidan Heavey, Chief Executive of Tullow Oil plc, commented today,

“Active portfolio management is a key part of Tullow’s exploration-led strategy. These transactions are part of an ongoing process of carefully refocusing our business and ensuring efficient allocation of capital by monetising non-core assets and re-investing the proceeds in high potential oil exploration. Our Southern North Sea gas assets are therefore no longer core to Tullow’s business which has a clear focus on light oil in Africa and the Atlantic Margins. The acquisition of Spring adds a material portfolio of oil exploration assets and high quality people that will provide a superb foundation for building our portfolio and expertise in the highly prospective North Atlantic.”

Conference call with Tullow Executives - 0800hrs UK time

To access the call please use telephone numbers / code below. A replay facility will be available from approximately noon on 11 December 2012 until 17 December 2012. The telephone numbers and access codes are:

Live event Replay facility available from 1200hrs 11 December
UK Participants +44 (0)20 7136 2055 UK Participants +44 (0)20 7111 1244
Irish Participants 353 (0)1 4860920 Irish Participants 353 (0)1 4860902
Confirmation Code 7236984 Replay Passcode 7236984

Note to Editors

Spring Energy licence list and 2013 / 14 drilling program

a. Spring licence list

 North Sea
 Licence  Working Interest  Operator
 PL 055  2.5%  Statoil
 PL 185  2.5%  Statoil
 PL 455 / 455 B  15%  Centrica
 PL 406  20%  Premier
 PL 407  20%  BG
 PL 495  40%  Lundin
 PL 507  20%  Wintershall
 PL 509  30%  Wintershall
 PL 542  40%  Det Norske
 PL 550  90%  Spring Energy
 PL 551  80%  Spring Energy
 PL 577  30%  Wintershall
 PL 619  20%  Total
 PL 626  30%  Det Norske
 PL 636  20%  GDF Suez
 Norwegian Sea
 PL 511  10%  Wintershall
 PL 519  20%  Lundin
 PL 583  30%  Spring Energy
 PL 591  60%  Spring Energy
 PL 596  15%  ExxonMobil
 PL 639  30%  Spring Energy
 PL 642  20%  Repsol
 PL 651  35%  E.ON Ruhrgas
 Barents Sea
 PL 438  17.5%  Lundin
 PL 490  30%  Lundin
 PL 537  20%  OMV
 PL 610  25%  GDF Suez
 PL 659  10%  Det Norske