- Europa Oil & Gas (Holdings) has issued shareholder newsletter covering the period since the annual general meeting on 9 December.

It says this period has seen significant news emerge from both Ireland and the UK, specifically regarding the award of the following new licences:

- Awarded strategically important Licensing Option (LO 16/2) in the southern Porcupine Basin, offshore Ireland, as part of Phase 1 of the 2015 Atlantic Ireland round based on its proprietary 3D seismic, Europa believes LO 16/2 contains three prospects with gross mean un-risked prospective resources of 895 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe)

*The new Licensing Option is adjacent to Europas existing prospects in FEL 3/13 in the south Porcupine Basin, where 1.5 billion boe of gross mean un-risked prospective resources have already been identified

* Including LO 16/2, Europa now has a 100% interest in an estimated three billion boe of gross mean un-risked prospective resources across its three licences in the south Porcupine Basin

* A number of major international oil companies have also been offered awards of Licensing Options in Phase 1 of the 2015 Atlantic Margin Licensing Round and the level of interest shown in the acreage endorses the prospectivity of the basin

* A second phase of awards is due to be announced in May 2016 and Europa eagerly awaits news on its remaining applications

- Three new onshore licences awarded in the 14th UK Onshore licensing round, which Europa believes have a number of exciting leads and prospects

In addition, Europa has seen further progress on two of the company's onshore UK licences:

- Planning for development of the Wressle field, which has already seen production in excess of 700 boepd from the exploration well

- Well planning for an exploration well on Holmwood in the Weald basin, which has gross mean un-risked prospective resources in excess of 5 million boe

Chief executive Hugh Mackay said: "With the award of a new strategically important licence in Ireland, which saw us beat off competition from major international oil companies, together with our three new licences onshore UK, all of which have great potential, this is a tremendously exciting period for Europa.

"In addition, we continue to move our existing UK acreage forward through ongoing work on the development of the Wressle discovery which has the potential to double our existing production in H2 2016, and also the preparation for an exploration well at Holmwood, following our recent successful planning appeal. Holmwood is located adjacent to PEDL 137 which has recently demonstrated hydrocarbon flows from the Horse Hill-1 exploration well.

"A Horse Hill partner, UK Oil and Gas Investments, has joined the Holmwood licence following its farm-in agreements with Egdon and Warwick, our other two partners at Holmwood.

"We are continuing with our own farm-out activities, seeking partners in Ireland, at Holmwood and Bearn-des-Gaves in France. Whilst the current oil price provides challenges to all those active in the sector, the reductions seen in service sector costs will flow through to lower exploration and development costs which can only be of benefit as we seek partners to work with us as we continue maturing our portfolio."

At 9:34am: [LON:EOG] Europa Oil Gas Holdings PLC share price was +0.25p at 4.88p

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