Ascent Spuds Slovenia Well

Ascent has commenced drilling the Pg-10 well which is the second redevelopment well of the Petišovci Project in Slovenia. The primary objective of the well is to confirm the reservoir quality and commerciality of the Middle Miocene reservoir section, independently assessed by RPS Energy ('RPS') to contain over 400 Bcf of gas-in-place, and secondarily to further delineate the substantial new deeper reservoir which was recently discovered by the Pg-11 well.

Early estimates suggest that the newly discovered reservoirs could increase the RPS P50 gas estimate by over 50%. Significantly the deeper Miocene pay section in Pg-11A has better reservoir characteristics than the thinner sands, which produced a total of 8 Bcf of gas from the Pg-1 and Pg-5 wells at initial rates of 1.5 and 2.5 MMcfd in 1987. These rates were achieved after fracture stimulation of the vertical wells using, what are now considered to be, outdated techniques.

With the increase in the gas resources of the field and their high pressure and temperature, a stimulation program involving state-of-the-art fracturing treatments to optimize the gas recovery from the redevelopment is being implemented. Full details of the forward program will be announced when fracture stimulation design, which will incorporate the extensive log and core data obtained from the Pg-11 and 11A wells, is complete within the next few weeks.

Ascent's Managing Director commented, "This intensive work program is expected to lead to the successful re-development of significantly bigger reserves than initially predicted and from a field that is now becoming one of the largest under-exploited onshore European gas fields."

Ascent through its wholly owned subsidiary Ascent Slovenia Limited, has a 75% interest in the Petišovci Project. Ascent's partner is Geoenergo with a 25% interest. Geoenergo d.o.o. is the holder of the Petišovci Exploitation Concession and is a company jointly owned by Nafta Lendeva, the Slovenian State Oil Company and Petrol, the leading energy conglomerate in Slovenia.