Roc Oil Could Drill up to 17 Wells Over the Next 10 Months

ROC's exploration, appraisal and potential development drilling program for the balance of 2004 is likely to comprise at least one well per month, with 10 firm wells and, perhaps, as many as 17 wells scheduled for drilling. The wells will be drilled onshore UK, in deep water offshore West Africa, specifically Mauritania and Equatorial Guinea, and in shallow water offshore China and Western Australia. ROC will operate all the wells except those drilled in Mauritania and one of the Australian wells.

The program is expected to include the Willows-1 exploration well in the UK, which will test a Saltfleetby-sized gas prospect and the Bravo-1 exploration well in Equatorial Guinea which will test a Chinguetti-sized Tertiary channel sand prospect. In addition, ROC expects that there will be a continuous drilling program of at least four wells offshore Mauritania commencing August/September 2004. There will also be two to four exploration wells in the northernmost part of the offshore Perth Basin, several hundred kilometers north of the Cliff Head Oil Field, and a two to five well exploration and appraisal drilling program offshore China.

As part of ROC's planning for its 2004 drilling program, the Company has exercised an option to acquire from Norwest Energy a 7.5% interest in WA-226-P, in the northern part of the offshore Perth Basin, through the payment of a $200,000 option fee to Norwest. On this basis, ROC will participate at a 7.5% funding level in the Fiddich-1 exploration well which is expected to be drilled in June 2004.

The latest advice received with regard to the availability of the rig contracted for ROC's offshore China drilling program is that it may be available by the end March 2004 subject to the progress of its current operation.


ROC is currently considering six candidates for its onshore UK 2004 drilling program of which it expects to drill one to three wells. The six wells being considered are Willows-1 and Errington-1, both exploration wells; the Saltfleetby Brinsley Abdy and Biscathorpe appraisal wells; the Saltfleetby-8 development well and a new drill of, or a re-entry to, the Cloughton-1 gas discovery. Willows-1 is considered to be a very strong candidate for drilling. Selection of the one or more other wells to be drilled will be finalised by mid-year when current technical studies are complete.

Recently, ROC received planning permission to drill the Willows-1 exploration well in PEDL030 in the Cleveland Basin, approximately 60 km northeast of York. The Willows Prospect is defined by 3-D seismic and has an unrisked mean recoverable gas reserve potential estimated by ROC to be approximately 108 bcf, which is slightly larger than the Saltfleetby Gas Field. The well will target Permian Rotliegendes sandstones which are the primary producing reservoirs in offshore fields which lie on trend approximately 30 km to the east of Willows. The Willows Prospect is a combination structural-stratigraphic trap on the southern flank of a large anticline. The exploration risk is considered to be medium to high but it is mitigated by the prospect's large upside potential which, if realized, would have a very positive impact on the value of the Company. Roc owns a 100% interest in Willows-1 AUSTRALIA

ROC has exercised its option to acquire from Norwest a 7.5% interest in WA-226-P where the Fiddich-1 exploration well is expected to be drilled in June 2004.

ROC expects to participate, at a 7.5% level, in the drilling of Fiddich-1 which will test a large structure, well defined by 3-D seismic, that lies on a broad regional trend that extends for approximately 350 km northwards from the Cliff Head Oil Field. Although the lack of commercial discoveries in the vicinity of Fiddich-1 would suggest that it should be regarded as a high risk exploration well, the discovery of commercial oil at Fiddich-1 would high grade the entire Cliff Head-Fiddich trend and significantly enhance the value of ROC's acreage holding in the region, which approximates to 7 million contiguous gross acres, almost all of which are operated by ROC.


Roc Oil is continuing contract negotiations relating to a deepwater drilling rig for its first exploration well in Block H in the Rio Muni Basin, offshore Equatorial Guinea. It is anticipated that the well will test the Bravo Prospect, a Tertiary channel sand play, which is estimated by ROC to have a mean recoverable oil reserve potential in the order of 116 mmbo gross, which bears comparison to the size of the Chinguetti Oil Field, offshore Mauritania. The Bravo Prospect, which is well defined by high resolution 3D seismic, extends a small distance into an adjacent block. In the event of a discovery, ROC believes that the estimated mean reserve for the Bravo Prospect would be sufficient to justify a stand alone development. However, there are several other potentially attractive prospects of varying sizes in the vicinity of Bravo that could also be considered for drilling if the Bravo-1 well is successful. Roc is the Technical Manager and owns a 35% stake in Blocsk H15 and H16.


The Woodside-led joint venture, which is exploring, appraising and looking to develop prospects and fields in PSCs Areas A and B in deepwater, offshore Mauritania, is currently finalizing its 2004 drilling program. Subject to final details being agreed, ROC expects that at least one deepwater drilling rig may be contracted for a continuous drilling program commencing in August/September 2004 and that such a program could result in at least four wells being drilled during the balance of the calendar year. The wells are expected to be a mix of exploration wells, Tiof/Tiof West Oil Field appraisal wells and Chinguetti Oil Field development wells. Roc owns a 3.693% to 4.155% stake in PSCs A and B.


ROC and its co-venturers in Block 22/12 in the Beibu Gulf, offshore China, are waiting to receive the Nanhai IV drilling rig so that they may commence an exploration and appraisal drilling program consisting of at least two and perhaps as many as five wells. The latest information received by ROC suggests that the Nahai IV drilling rig may be made available by end-March 2004, subject to the progress of its current operation. Roc is operator and owns a 40% stake in block 22/12 in the Beibu Gulf offshore China.