Europa Garners Aquitaine Basin Permit

Europa Oil and Gas (Holdings) plc said that the Bearn des Gaves permit was awarded last Friday. The license, which covers an area of 928 square kilometers of the Aquitaine Basin in southwest France, is valid for up to five years.

Europa's work commitment under this license is for the evaluation of existing seismic data in the first year, followed by two optional phases: the acquisition of 100 kilometers of 2D seismic in the second year and the drilling of an exploration well to 2,500 meters thereafter.

The license lies immediately west of the Lacq and Meillon Gasfields, which contain combined estimated initial recoverable gas reserves of 12 trillion cubic feet. The main exploration potential in the Bearn des Gaves license is the continuation of this hydrocarbon play under the Pyrenean thrust zone.

Previous exploration has confirmed commercial gas beneath this thrust zone 20 kilometers to the south, with the Saucede and Ledeuix gasfields (in production 1981-1997). Modern exploration methods will greatly improve the chances of finding larger hydrocarbon traps under the thrust zone to the west of Lacq, and it is here that Europa will be concentrating its exploration effort.

Paul Barrett, Managing Director, said: "This area, the equivalent of five UK North Sea blocks, has not seen drilling for almost 20 years, despite its proximity to world-class reserves in an area with a well-developed gas infrastructure. It is a prime candidate for the use of modern exploration techniques to identify new commercial reserves in a proven basin."

Europa Oil & Gas (Holdings) plc focuses on the production and exploration of hydrocarbons in Europe and North Africa. Europa currently produces 600 barrels of oil equivalent per day from its operations in the UK, Romania and the Ukraine. Operating a balanced portfolio, Europa also has field appraisal and exploration activity on a number of projects in the UK and Romania and a strong new ventures program across Europe and the North African region.