The agreement will see Island assign OMV a 50% interest in deepwater Frontier Exploration License 3/05 ("FEL 3/05"), which contains the Killala Prospect, in return for OMV's 50% interest in the Durresi Block, offshore Albania. The assignment of the Durresi Block interest is subject to approval from the competent authorities in Albania and the assignment of the interest in FEL 3/05 is subject to approval from the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources of Ireland.
The agreement is between Island Rockall JV Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Island, and OMV (Albanien) Adriatic Sea Exploration GMBH ("OMV"), a wholly owned subsidiary of OMV Exploration & Production GmbH. Under the terms of the agreement, Island, will retain a 50% interest in FEL 3/05 and will continue to act as the Operator. In addition, and subject to the approval of the other partner in the Durresi Block (Lundin Netherlands BV), Island will also take over operatorship of the Durresi Block.
Island is currently finalizing plans to acquire a 3D seismic survey in 2008 in FEL 3/05 in order to prepare the large Killala prospect for a drilling decision. OMV has a strong track record on the Atlantic Margin, with significant exploration success in both Irish and UK waters.
FEL 3/05 covers an area of approximately 715 square kilometers and is located in the Northeast Rockall Basin on the Atlantic Margin approximately 70 kilometers off the west coast of Ireland and approximately 35 kilometers north of the Corrib gas field. The License area contains one very significant exploration prospect covering an area of up to 80 square kilometers (the "Killala Prospect"), together with a number of other prospects and leads.
The Durresi Block in Albania covers an area of 4,200 sq. km. along the Adriatic coastline of Western Albania. Discoveries made in similar play types in Southern Italy (the Aquila Field and the Falco and Rovesti discovery wells) indicate the high potential of the southern Adriatic Sea for both oil and gas. Its location puts it in an ideal position to meet the region's fast growing energy demand and to successfully develop even modest size discoveries.
The Durresi Block contains the A4-1X gas/condensate discovery drilled by Agip in 1993 at a time of lower oil price. The Chevron/Agip group quoted potential gross resources of 35 mm barrels of condensate and 151 bcf of gas. Several undrilled oil and gas prospects exist on the Durresi Block with potential mean gross recoverable oil and gas of 35 million barrels and 410 to 540 bcf respectively (OMV's unrisked estimates).
Paul Griffiths, Chief Executive of Island, commented:
"We are delighted to announce the forging of a new strategic partnership for Island on the highly prospective Atlantic Margin that will significantly advance the development of our high risk: high reward exploration portfolio. OMV has a successful track record in exploring for and finding oil and gas in this area. OMV's participation in FEL 3/05 is further confirmation of the potential of the Killala Prospect and we look forward to working together to develop and evaluate other opportunities that may exist in this area.
"Acquisition of the interest in the Durresi Block offshore Albania allows Island to acquire a potentially significant hydrocarbon discovery that fits our strategy of acquiring proven hydrocarbon discoveries with the potential for near and medium term development, at a reasonable entry cost and in a favorable investment environment, through trading equity in our extensive portfolio of high quality exploration and near-development projects."
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