First Oil Expro Farms Into Helvellyn Field in UK North Sea

First Oil Expro Limited has joined ATP Oil & Gas (UK) Ltd in the development of the Helvellyn Field in Block 47/10 in the Southern Gas Basin of the UK North Sea. Under the terms of the agreements completed on September 30, 2002, First Oil will earn a 50% working interest through funding 50% of the project's costs in addition to paying an undisclosed amount. ATP will retain a 50% working interest and will continue as the operator of the field.

Natural gas was discovered on this block in 1985 with the successful drilling of the 47/10-1 well. Though this well was tested at a rate of 29.4 million cubic feet per day, it was not developed and remained fallow until acquired by ATP and named as the Helvellyn Field. On July 17, 2002, ATP was granted approval by the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry to commence development operations. The field is being developed with a subsea well, 47/10-7, which ATP spudded in early September and will include a horizontal completion of approximately 2,000 feet in the gas bearing sands at approximately 9,000 feet. When completed, the well will be tied back to the Amethyst A2D platform by a 15.5 km pipeline, which ATP laid in August of this year. The project is expected to commence production in 2003.

T. Paul Bulmahn, Chairman and President of ATP, said: "First Oil's decision to join us in the Helvellyn project further validates the value of our investment in the UK North Sea. We welcome First Oil to this venture and together we are looking forward to a very successful outcome to this milestone project".