Venture Finalizes Increased Equity Interest in Saturn

Venture Production has inked a deal on the unitization of the Saturn gas development. This field comprises the newly drilled Atlas structure in addition to the neighboring Hyperion and Rhea structures. Although chiefly located in Block 48/10b, Saturn extends into Block 48/10a, in which Venture currently holds an 88.89% equity interest. Furthermore, under the unitization agreement, Block 48/10a holds a 22% equity interest in Saturn. As a result, Venture's working interest in the total unitized Saturn development will be 19.56%.

It is planned that Saturn will be developed via a six slot normally unmanned platform operated by ConocoPhillips and tied directly into the LOGGS gathering and export pipeline system, which terminates onshore at Theddlethorpe. First gas is anticipated during Q4 2005 from a phased drilling program that is expected to result in a peak production rate of 170 million standard cubic feet per day ('MMscfpd') during 2006. A Field Development Plan ('FDP') has been submitted by the field partners and is currently under consideration by the DTI.

ConocoPhillips completed drilling of the successful 48/10b-13 appraisal well on the Atlas structure in early 2004, which supported the acceleration of the Saturn development. It also confirmed the proposed plan to have two production wells in the Atlas structure and one in the Hyperion structure. Current estimates of gross Proved and Probable reserves for Atlas and Hyperion combined are over 240 Bcf. The Rhea structure, formerly known as 'P1A', is currently undrilled and, although it does not feature in the initial development plan, it represents material upside potential.

Commenting on the news, Bruce Dingwall, Chief Executive said:

'Confirmation of a significant stake in the Saturn development further expands our existing 'A' Fields gas business and we are pleased to be working in partnership with ConocoPhillips, an extremely experienced SNS operator, on this exciting development project. The short term development of the Saturn and Annabel fields represents one of the largest pools of undeveloped gas in the southern North Sea at a time of an increasingly attractive UK gas market for producers.'