NSC's assets include a 45% interest and operatorship of the Joint Venture that owns the development rights to the Petisovci Dolina ("P-D") oil and gas fields and a 15.75% interest and operatorship of the Joint Venture that owns the development rights to the underlying Petisovci Globoki ("P-G") gas field. The fields are in eastern Slovenia near Lendava, close to the borders of Slovenia, Austria, Hungary and Croatia.
The oil and gas fields, which were originally discovered in 1942, currently produce minor amounts of oil and gas. However both P-D and P-G are thought to have substantial additional reserves as assessed respectively by independent consultants APA Petroleum Engineering of Calgary, Canada and Troy-Ikoda of Windsor, UK. Remaining proven plus probable ("2P") oil reserves in the P-D reservoirs are estimated to be 10.7 million barrels. Gas in place in the deeper P-G reservoirs is estimated to be, at a P50 (50% probability) level, 579 Bcf.
In the deeper P-G gas field, one of the Joint Venture partners, Grove Energy Limited (AIM:GRV; currently under offer to merge with Stratic Energy Corporation, TSX-V:SE) reported gas initially in place of 579 Bcf. Under the terms of a 2004 farm-in, Grove drilled the D-14 well at its sole cost. After three hydraulic fracture stimulation treatments the well produced only minor gas and water. Grove returned to the well in 2006 and deepened it to the main gas producing E-1 reservoir. Although this E-1 interval had strong gas shows, the well did not produce from an open-hole test and the well was suspended without a fracture stimulation.
The consideration for the purchase of NSC is €150,000 payable in Ascent shares at the average price over 30 days immediately prior to execution. This is 680,205 shares at 14.82p. Additionally, there is deferred payment calculated on the basis of the volume of the future sales gas produced.
Ascent's Managing Director Jeremy Eng said, "This project has the potential to provide Ascent with substantial additional reserves. Development infrastructure is already in place, and so remaining reserves could be developed at highly cost effective levels. Importantly the deferred payment substantially de-risks the project for the Company."
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