The VAM-1 exploration well reached a total depth of 2,010m and was the fourth well drilled by Ascent's 90% owned Hungarian subsidiary PetroHungaria kft. These wells are in the Nyirseg exploration permits and were drilled under the terms of the farm-in agreements with DualEx of Canada and PetroPequnia of Sweden. The drilling of this fourth well concludes this phase of the exploration and completes the obligations under the farm-in. Participation in the permits for the on-going exploration and future production are DualEx 37.5%, PetroPequnia 2% and PetroHungaria kft as operator with 60.5% and from now on the costs and revenues will be divided according to these working interests.
The four wells, in addition to the 2-D seismic shot by the PetroHungaria in 2005, provide a vast amount of modern exploration data across the large 2,483 sq km Nyirseg permits. The wells provide comprehensive coverage throughout the permits: one was located near the northern boundary, one near the southern boundary whilst the other two were centrally located and close to the proven reserves of the Peneszlek field. The exploration data will form the basis for the next phase of the exploration effort and partners have already begun to discuss the options for the activities to further explore and appraise the hydrocarbon potential of the area.
PetroHungaria is leading the planning of the development centred on the PEN-104 gas discovery (announced 14 November 2006) and incorporating the PEN-9 and PEN-12 discovery wells. The re-development of the previously productive Peneszlek field is being considered as an addition to this modular development as will any future discoveries within the permit.
Ascent's Managing Director Jeremy Eng said: "The farm-in program has now been completed with the drilling of the four wells. The new exploration data, the gas show from VAM-1 as well as the PEN-104 gas discovery will provide the information that will enable us to understand the prospectivity of the area. The development project at Peneszlek will prove the productivity of the Pannonian horizon in addition to the already proven underlying Miocene volcaniclastic section."
In Italy, having received final authorisations from governmental agencies, the rig is now on route back to the Anagni location in the Frosinone exploration permit. The Anagni-1 well was temporarily completed to allow time for the procurement of specialist equipment both to enable the well to be deepened, to investigate more of the carbonate sequence, and to install the pump necessary for the testing operations to evaluate the oil reservoir.
Ascent Resources has a portfolio of over 20 gas and oil projects across six countries in Europe. The projects are onshore in Italy, Switzerland, Hungary, Spain, Slovenia and offshore Netherlands. Ascent is at present drilling a program of exploration wells across its portfolio. The Company operates Spain's only onshore oilfield where production currently averages over 110 barrels of oil per day. With the stable European gas market, Ascent's portfolio favours gas over oil. With the exception of the Netherlands, all of its projects are located onshore where operating and development costs are substantially lower than they are offshore.
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