Venture Receives DTI Approval for Development of the Goosander Field

Venture Production says that the UK Department of Trade and Industry has given its approval for the development of the Goosander oil field located in Block 21/12 within the Greater Kittiwake Area ('GKA'). GKA is a central North Sea oil production 'hub' operated and 50% owned by Venture.

The discovery well on the Goosander field, 21/12-3, was originally drilled in 1998 and tested at 8,200 barrels of oil per day ('bopd'). It was suspended for subsequent re-use and re-completion of the well as a producer is expected to take place in the second quarter of 2006 using Transocean's semisub, Sedco 704. Subject to initial production performance, drilling of a water injection well to support the producer is planned for 2007.

Goosander will be developed as a sub-sea tie back to the Kittiwake platform utilizing a single producer/injector pair of wells. Two pipeline bundles totaling 12 kilometers in length are currently under construction in Wick. The bundles have been designed and engineered to accommodate future production and water injection wells including potential re-use on future subsea tie-backs.

Estimated gross proven and probable recoverable reserves for the field amount to 15.2 million barrels of oil with first production from the field scheduled for Q3 2006.

Commenting on the news, Mike Wagstaff, Chief Executive said:
"Goosander is the latest major incremental project in the GKA hub since Venture took over operatorship in late 2003 and we are very pleased to be able to announce the DTI approval of the field development plan. This is an important milestone in our 2006 delivery program and we look forward to now bringing the field into production. The GKA business hub is currently delivering over 4,000 barrels of oil per day net to Venture and, with additional contributions from the Gadwall water injector currently drilling and Goosander coming on stream in Q3, we expect to have trebled this production rate by the year end."