Ascent Resources Wins Four Exploration Licenses from Dutch Government
Ascent Resources, through its 90% owned joint venture with GTO Limited, has been awarded four exploration licenses covering a total area of 795 square kilometers by the Dutch Government.
The P4, M8, M10 and M11 licenses were identified by the JV following a technical evaluation by GTO and Ascent. The technical work focused on the newly recognized Carboniferous exploration plays as well as the traditional Rotleigendes plays. Gas was discovered within the M11 permit (M11-01) in 1982 following a drill program by NAM, and was tested at a rate of 6,600 cu.m per day (233 Mscfd) from the Upper Slochteren sandstones of the Rotliegendes (as reported by TNO on behalf of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs). In the area of M8, M10 and M11 a 3-D seismic survey is due for release next month and this will form the basis for the new exploration effort.
To assist in the funding of this exploration, Ascent has agreed a farm-in from Canadian company McLaren Resources Inc, whereby McLaren will pay 62.5% of the JV costs for a 45% beneficial interest. Also, under the terms of the GTO JV agreement, GTO will receive 814,941 Ordinary Ascent Shares of 0.001p at a price of 11.78p (being the average price over the past six months).
Ascent Managing Director Jeremy Eng said: "The award of these licenses in the Netherlands adds a new dimension to Ascent. These are the Company's first offshore assets and they are in the shallow waters of the southern North Sea. The exploration targets are gas reservoirs and the M11 block already contains a gas discovery. With Wintershall, Gaz de France and NAM (Shell-ESSO) all operating nearby, it is our expectation that the gas potential of this area will be developed quickly."
Additionally, following the Letter of Intent from Swedish Company PetroPequnia AB announced on August 23, 2006 regarding the exploration and development of the hydrocarbon resources of the Nyirseg Del and Nyirseg Szatmar exploration permits in north-eastern Hungary, Ascent has finalized an agreement, whereby PetroPequnia AB will farm-in for a 2% working interest. They will pay a contribution to back-costs as well as 4% of the cost of the drilling program with up to four wells. The terms of the agreement are the same as those previously agreed with DualEx Nyirseg Inc and also announced on August 23rd. For this project, the drilling rig is currently in transit to the first drilling location and is expected to commence drilling the PEN-104 well on October 21, 2006.
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