Ascent Resources has agreed terms with farm-in partner Otto Energy for Otto's withdrawal from the Cento & Bastiglia exploration permit in the Po Valley of northern Italy. Under the terms of the withdrawal, Ascent will retain 100% of the license and Otto will immediately contribute funds towards potential restoration costs and forfeit its entitlement to the refund of any value added tax due on the project.
In 2007, Ascent farmed out a 50% working interest in the Permit to Otto in return for the funding of the Gazzata-1 exploration well that was drilled in 2009 and €1.5 million of seismic expenses. After the unsuccessful Gazzata well and a strategic review of its geographic focus, Otto has elected not to continue with the exploration of the license. The value to Ascent of the VAT refund and the restoration funding is estimated to be €800,000.
Ascent has reviewed the technical data on the license and is considering seismic acquisition as the next stage of the exploration program. However, for 2010, priority will be given to the major Petišovci Lovaszi development project in Slovenia and Hungary where 3-D seismic is currently being acquired at Lovaszi and planning for up to six wells in Slovenia continues.
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