The program is expected to commence in May with the Cirrus (48/22b-F) Perenco-operated exploration well and the 49/23-2 Island Oil and Gas-operated Old Head of Kinsale appraisal well. Subject to any operational and testing issues on the Old Head of Kinsale well, this will be followed by an appraisal well on the 1987 Schull discovery, also operated by Island. The Company also expects to see the drilling of the Breagh appraisal well by Sterling Resources Ltd. in late summer, with drilling on Barbarossa 47/ 9c-A and the Catcher 28/9-C well either in late 2007 or the first half of 2008. Development drilling activity on the Amstel field in Holland could start as soon as the first half of 2008.
The onshore discovery at Kirkleatham is progressing as planned. The operator, Egdon Resources plc, has acquired additional seismic data in the area and the group are currently reviewing the additional gas potential that this license may have to offer. Egdon has informed EnCore that the group may be in a position to produce gas from the Kirkleatham discovery in the winter of 2007/08. At Westerdale, the group is currently reviewing the potential of drilling an appraisal well to the Ralph Cross discovery. Although the Westerdale well encountered gas, it is thought to be separate from the Ralph Cross accumulation.
Gas Storage Progress
The gas storage evaluation in partnership with Star Energy is progressing as expected, and EnCore is encouraged by the interest expressed by a number of larger companies active in this segment of the gas business.
Further Portfolio Development
EnCore continues to mature the prospectivity of the remainder of its portfolio and is actively seeking co-venturers to partner in the drilling of a number of these prospects. Discussions with potentially interested third parties on a number of EnCore's licenses are progressing well and the Company is hopeful that this may lead to additional drilling in an already active forward program.
Commenting on the drilling program, Alan Booth, Chief Executive of EnCore said:
"EnCore has been especially active in expanding and broadening its portfolio over the last nine months within our stated strategy of building an opportunity set that has the capacity to create sustainable and realisable value for our shareholders. Our portfolio now covers acreage in the UK, Ireland*, Holland* and France* in addition to our already established position in Western Sahara. As a result of this work, EnCore is now about to embark upon a significant exploration, appraisal and development drilling program beginning in May and continuing through 2007 and into 2008.
"I believe we now have a forward activity program that few companies of our size can match. We will however continue to seek additional value adding and company transforming opportunities and expect that we will continue to upgrade our portfolio actively through trades, sales, swaps and acquisitions. We continue to shepherd our cash resources and remain alert to consolidation opportunities in the small cap E&P sector. Our criteria for taking advantage of such opportunities are that they should offer the opportunity to create a stronger and more capable entity with the scale and capability to take advantage of opportunities in the sector, and, where appropriate, deliver value directly to our shareholders."
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