Shell & Apache Log Pay with North Sea Well

Shell U.K. Limited together with Apache North Sea Limited and co-venturers OMV (U.K.) Limited and Petro Summit Investment UK Limited are pleased to announce they have drilled a discovery well in Block 22/12a in a low relief structure between the Shell operated Nelson and the Montrose fields in the Central North Sea, some 200 kilometers north-east of Aberdeen.

Rien Herber, Exploration Director of Shell Exploration & Production in Europe, said: "Drilling this well underlines Shell's commitment to near-field exploration in the North Sea and is a good example of cross-industry co-operation to maximize the potential of a mature area If it is developed it has the potential to allow Shell to increase its portfolio of existing oil and to extend the life of nearby infrastructure."

Block 22/12a was acquired by Shell in 2002 as part of the Enterprise Oil portfolio. The 22/12a-10 well was spudded on October 30, 2004 by the Sedco 711 semisub and identified a 60-foot hydrocarbon column in the Forties reservoir. The well was plugged and abandoned on November 21st as planned for this exploration well. Information from the well is now being evaluated to determine commerciality.

John Crum, Managing Director of Apache, said: "This is the first of what we hope to be numerous joint operations with Shell in the North Sea, where we believe there remain many exploration and development opportunities yet to be pursued. Apache has significantly boosted production from Forties Field; we would like to expand our presence in the North Sea."