Ascent Resources confirms that, in response to media comment in Switzerland, it is in discussions with the Council of the Community of Hermrigen in the Canton of Bern, Switzerland, regarding its intention to appraise the Hermrigen-1 gas discovery made by Elf Aquitane in 1982.
Ascent has completed geological and geophysical analyses and studies in the area and now plans to drill the Hermrigen-2 well as an appraisal to the 1982 Hermrigen-1 gas discovery. The Hermigen-1 well tested gas from reservoirs at 2,250 meters but due to drilling complications it did not reach its deeper, primary target. The Ascent operated Hermrigen-2 well is planned as a 3,000 meter vertical well that will re-test the productive gas reservoir and drill the deeper target.
The Canton of Bern is to issue a three-year extension to the surface exploration permit and a sub-surface exploration permit for the Hermrigen area. It is planned to drill the Hermrigen-2 well in the second half of 2008, subject to the issue of a construction permit and the consent of the local community. The well will be drilled with the newly built, latest generation, low environmental impact 200 tonne rig owned by Ascent’s 22.5% subsidiary, Perazzoli Drilling.
Ascent is operator of the project retaining an 80% interest and its partners in the project are SEAG (Schweiz Erdoel or Swiss Petroleum) of Zurich (10%) and Leni Gas and Oil (10%).
"There have only been about 20 hydrocarbon exploration wells drilled on prospective acreage in Switzerland," Ascent Managing Director Jeremy Eng said, "making it the least explored country in Western Europe, with an average of about 1 well per 1,000 square kilometers. The Hermrigen-1 discovery well was drilled by Elf Aquitane 26 years ago, and the Hermrigen-2 Appraisal well will be the first well to be drilled in the area since the Finsterwald field was in production in the neighboring Canton of Lucerne between 1985 and 1994.
"Through our Swiss partners, SEAG, we are working closely with the local community to ensure that everyone’s interests are taken into account and that the gas development potential is fully realized."
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