Northern Reports Early Dutch Sidetrack Deal

Northern Petroleum Plc, through its Dutch subsidiary Northern Petroleum Nederlands B.V., has signed a contract to secure a drilling rig from DrillTec GUT GmbH to drill an appraisal and development sidetrack on one of the six oil and gas field developments planned in The Netherlands, more than one year ahead of schedule.

The Company has decided to bring forward the first new drilling on the Ottoland oil field from late 2008 to early this year. The existing Ottoland-1 well drilled in 1987 tested oil at a rate of 211bopd over an interval of 14 meters in a near vertical well. The Ottoland-1z sidetrack has been designed to intersect and produce from 600 meters of reservoir in a near horizontal well at significantly higher flow rates.

Approvals are now in place. This is Northern's first well in The Netherlands as the designated Operator.

Derek Musgrove, Northern's Managing Director stated: "We are extremely pleased to have the DrillTec's Synergy #1 Rig with an option for one further well. This acceleration of our Ottoland program transfer is most welcome and will increasingly establish us a force onshore in The Netherlands capable of working compatibly and in tandem with the neighbors and local interest groups.

"We have, with understanding from our partners and contractors, absorbed delays in the licensing processes, shown flexibility to adjust our plans and will, now re-invigorated, embark upon our development operations with increased expected oil production levels in compensation.

"The Synergy #1 Rig was used last year to drill the Steenwijk-1 exploration well and proved extremely satisfactory for drilling operations close to a local community. The drilling performance and cost-effectiveness of those operations were an important consideration in the selection of this rig even at the cost of a few months delay."

Northern Petroleum Plc is an oil and gas production, development and exploration company with core interests under its management in The Netherlands, Italy and the United Kingdom and other interests in Guyane and Spain. The Company has proven and probable reserves of 60.5 million barrels of oil equivalent and is currently working towards putting its six Netherlands development assets into production with the support of Standard Bank.

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