Elixir Petroleum Limited advises that the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change has agreed to a four-month extension of the license term on Block 211/18b (License P.1381), containing the Leopard prospect, to April 21, 2009.
The extension to the license term will provide Elixir additional time to complete the farm out of the unfunded portion of the planned Leopard exploration well. The Leopard Prospect, which is located in the northern sector of the UK North Sea, is one of the largest remaining undrilled oil targets in the North Sea, with a mean prospective resource estimate of approximately 350 million barrels.
"The granting of an extension is good news and will assist in our efforts to secure a further partner in the short term to assist us with the drilling of the Leopard Prospect in 2009," Elixir's Managing Director, Andrew Ross said.
"We noted with interest the result of the recent Cladhan well drilled in the northern North Sea which also targeted Upper Jurassic sandstones in a stratigraphically controlled play type, similar to the Leopard Prospect. It has been reported the Cladhan well discovered a 34m oil column and that the reservoir has excellent interpreted porosity and permeability. We are confident the Cladhan discovery proves the viability of Upper Jurassic plays in the northern North Sea and significantly de-risks the Leopard Prospect. We believe that the Cladhan discovery, together with the updated geobody studies undertaken by Elixir in the second half of 2008, has further upgraded the Leopard Prospect."
"Furthermore, the current financial market crisis and commodity price falls is somewhat of a mixed blessing in this case. We recognize deals are harder to close, but with companies currently reducing their drilling activities in the North Sea, rig slots have become available in 2009 and rig rates have fallen significantly."
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