It is currently anticipated that the 2007 drilling program will be primarily focused along the Atlantic Margin off the west coast of Ireland, subject to the necessary regulatory consents being granted. The remainder of the program remains flexible in order to allow for possible appraisal drilling based on a potentially successful outcome to our 2006 drilling campaign. In addition, Island is reviewing the opportunity to progress potential new international ventures in Northwest Europe and North Africa, which are currently being evaluated.
Commenting on the execution of the drilling contract Paul Griffiths, Chief Executive of Island, stated:
"The execution of the new drilling contract cements the very constructive working relationship that we have developed with Petrolia Drilling Limited. It allows us to benefit fully from the huge amount of work that our highly experienced in-house drilling team, under the guidance of Andrew J. McHardy, Island's Drilling Project Manager, has put in to assist in preparing the rig for mobilization for operations in Ireland in coming weeks, subject to the necessary regulatory consents being granted.
The 2007 drilling program provides Island with an opportunity to evaluate its existing prospects, and potential future prospects, along the Atlantic Margin offshore Ireland and, importantly, to potentially develop an international spread of exploration and appraisal drilling projects. Rig availability, in a tight market, gives us significant leverage to use to attract new potential partners to our extensive portfolio of mature exploration projects at a time when quality, high risk/high reward exploration targets are in short supply and rig availability is limited."
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