Northern Chair: Company Has Increased Positions in Netherlands, Italy

At Northern Petroleum Plc’s annual meeting Wednesday, Richard Latham, chairman of the London-based company, made the following statement:

“It has been a good year during which we have further established our position to become the second largest onshore operator in The Netherlands and in terms of area under management the second largest exploration licensee in Italy. We now have proven plus probable reserves of 60.5 million barrels of oil equivalent which has been independently evaluated by petroleum engineers.

“Now that we have secured funding from the recent placing and with the support of Standard Bank to provide the project finance, I can look forward to the period ahead in which we will establish ourselves as oil and gas producers in The Netherlands and conduct active drilling programs in Italy and the south of England.

“It is noticeable to me that both Italy and The Netherlands have recently seen an increase in the number of incoming oil exploration companies following in the wake of a path which I feel we have set, that of seeking to put oil and gas discoveries into development and conduct exploration in known petroleum systems in safe parts of the world. I believe this last point is much overlooked by many commentators and investors in an increasingly troubled political scene. We have sought to acquire reserves and conduct our exploration in what we deem to be safe and stable political environments. Our progress has been steady and I believe we are about to reap the rewards of much hard work and patience without being nervous as to legitimacy of title, government seizure nor in a material way to the whimsical additional 'windfall profits' taxes by Finance Ministers with a black hole.

“Now that the award and transfer of licenses in The Netherlands is being realized our operations team is investigating possibilities to accelerate the oil field developments and increase the initial levels of production. Once these plans are finalized and receive local approvals I look forward to advising shareholders.

“I feel particularly confident that we have now built a very experienced core team at a time when experienced personnel are greatly sought after. I am impressed with the enthusiasm and dedication of the team, and this above all else leads me to suggest that we should all have confidence in the future of Northern Petroleum.

“May I add, that whilst success can never be guaranteed--particularly in an E & P company--it can be earned by intelligence, experience, and sheer well-aimed hard work. It can then become deserved--and I and my Board feel that if any team deserve success it is this one. They are a real pleasure to work with and deserve our unstinting gratitude for a highly successful year. I have complete confidence of even greater achievements next year and beyond.”