Ascent has completed the sale of its 20.167% interest in the western part of the Nyírség Szatmár permits in Hungary, known as the Panhandle, which contains the Görbeháza-1 ('GH-1') gas discovery. Ascent will initially receive a cash consideration of US $300,000 and additionally pro rata payments, net to Ascent, of US $300,000 per Bcf will be made once the cumulative production from GH-1 exceeds 1 Bcf (28.31 MMm3). The other minority partners in the license, DualEx Nyírség and Swede Resources, have also divested their interests on similar terms.
The proceeds will be used for the development of Ascent's European portfolio, which includes assets in Italy, Slovenia and Hungary and in particular the Petişovci-Lovaszi project area on which the Company recently announced an independently verified P50 estimate of gas-in-place of 412 Bcf (11.7 Bm3; 68.7 MMboe).
The sale of the interest was to existing project partners Hungarian Horizon Energy ('HHE') and JKX plc ('JKX') who operate the nearby Hajdúnánás gasfield, where the Görbeháza gas is processed and sold to the main pipeline. The Görbeháza-1 well was drilled in August 2009 and tested gas from the first of two gas zones targeted for completion, at a rate of 3.74 MMscfd (106,000 Mm3/d). It eventually went on production in August 2010 and average production through the first half of September was 1.66 MMscfd (50,000 Mm3/d).
Ascent's Managing Director Jeremy Eng said, "The exploration license for the Panhandle area has now expired and as the production from the GH-1 well is operated and produced by HHE and JKX through its neighboring field facilities, it makes good sense for Ascent and the other minority partners to monetize this discovery rather than to wait for the gas to be produced. As we had mentioned previously, the benefit of 3-D seismic was instrumental in making this discovery and the PetroHungaria partners farmed out the Panhandle area to HHE and JKX for the cost of the 3-D seismic acquisition."
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