Venture Says First Gas Delivered from Saturn Field in UK North Sea

Venture Production reports that first gas has been delivered from the ConocoPhillips operated Saturn field. The field is located in UKCS Blocks 48/10a and 48/10b and Venture holds a 22% working interest in the Saturn development.

Saturn has been developed via a six slot normally unmanned platform operated by ConocoPhillips and is tied directly into the LOGGS gathering and export pipeline system, which terminates onshore at Theddlethorpe. First gas has been delivered well ahead of plan, which under the original schedule envisaged start-up during Q4 2005. A phased drilling programme is in place that is expected to deliver a peak gross production rate of 170 million standard cubic feet per day ('MMscfpd') during 2006 from a total of three wells. Once stabilised, initial gross production rates from the first Saturn well are expected to be around 75 MMscfpd. Venture's share of this initial production will be 16.5 MMscfpd and Saturn will be a material contribution to Venture's anticipated average net production rate of between 140 and 150 MMscfpd during the upcoming winter months.

Venture expects the second Saturn well to be onstream during December.

Commenting on the news, Mike Wagstaff, Chief Executive said:
'We are delighted to be able to announce early delivery of first gas from Saturn and to congratulate the operator ConocoPhillips on successful management of a key Southern North Sea gas development. Following on from the start-up of our Annabel field in early April, this latest successful development has increased Venture's access to one of the largest pools of undeveloped gas in the Southern North Sea at a time when the UK gas market is increasingly attractive for producers.'

Near term gas projects that Venture operates include the second well on the Annabel field which is currently drilling with an expectation of first gas during October and an infill well on the Ann field which is scheduled to spud during Q4 2005.

Partners in the Saturn development are ConocoPhillips (U.K.) Limited (operator), RWE DEA UK Development Limited and Venture Production (North Sea Developments) Limited.