Northern Petroleum announces that its wholly owned subsidiary, Northern Petroleum (UK) Limited, has this morning commenced drilling operations in Italy on the Savio 1x site utilizing the Hydro Drilling International S.p.A. E1200 rig.
The Savio 1x well is Northern's first well drilled in Italy as the operator. It is located in Emilia-Romagna, a prolific gas producing area of the Po Basin. The prognosis is that after passing through the outer edge of the secondary objective, which has a mean potential entrapment of 110 bcf of gas at about 3200 meters, the primary reservoir target with estimated mean gas in place of 222 bcf will be encountered at about 3,500 meters sub-surface.
Northern's mapping has had the benefit of access to a seismic survey tie into the Eni / Stratic Energy recently discovered Longanesi gas field, 25 kilometers to the northwest.
As announced on October 24, 2008, Northern has reduced its business risks and the call upon its cash balances through a farmout agreement with Avobone Italy S.r.l., a member of the Indofin Group. Avobone will be paying 40% of the well costs. Following completion of that agreement the license interests will be Northern 80% and Avobone S.r.I. 20%.
"We are increasing our activity level in Italy, Derek Musgrove, managing director, said. "This is a milestone in progressing our very large Italian project. The odds of success have been assessed as reasonable, but nevertheless it is an exploration well. The structure is of significantly higher than average potential for the region.
"Any discovery will benefit from the availability of an extensive infrastructure of gas pipelines and gas fired power stations throughout a region which has one of Europe's highest GDPs."
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