Northern Petroleum to Spud Steenwijk Exploration Well

Northern Petroleum says that the first exploration well in The Netherlands in partnership with the joint Shell and ExxonMobil subsidiary Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij B.V., ('NAM') will spud this month. The rig is currently being moved to the Steenwijk site.

The Steenwijk exploration well is located in an area designated the Steenwijk part-area in the north-western part of the Schoonebeeck concession operated and held 100% by NAM. Northern will earn a 50% commercial interest in the part-area by the drilling of the Steenwijk-1 well.

The farmin well is targeting a Rotliegendes structure. An additional prospect Steenwijk SW could be in communication in the event of a discovery.

On reaching an agreed depth near the top of the Carboniferous the well will have evaluated the primary Rotliegendes objective in the Permian and have fulfilled the farmin obligation to NAM.

Northern recognizes and has mapped a deeper Carboniferous objective. In the event of a discovery the well will be suspended for testing with this deeper target being evaluated by future drilling, however, should this not occur Northern's intention will be that the well be deepened approximately a further 200 meters to evaluate a series of Carboniferous sandstones within an independent Carboniferous closure.

Derek Musgrove, Managing Director of Northern commented, 'We are pleased to commence our field operations in The Netherlands with the drilling of a good size gas target recognized both by ourselves and NAM. Our interest in deepening the well demonstrates our belief that this part of the Southern Gas Basin still needs to be explored below the Permian sediments and such activities will now benefit from modern capabilities of interpreting 3-D seismic.'


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