Ascent Resources Takes Stake in Po Valley Fields

Ascent Resources has entered into an agreement with Deltana Energy of Australia to farm-out a 50% interest in the 1,113 sq km Cento and Bastiglia exploration permits in the Po Valley of Italy.

The Po Valley, which extends across the northern part of Italy from Turin in the west to Venice and Ravenna in the east, is the one of the most productive areas for gas and oil onshore in Europe. Since the first production in the 1950s, over 130 fields have been put on production. Ascent's exploration permits, located in the central part of the Po Plain near the cities of Modena to the south, Mantova to the north and Bologna to the south east, are among the largest in the region.

Under the terms of the agreement, Deltana will pay the cost of the first exploration well and, on success, will pay the cost of a second exploration well. The first well targets a Pliocene prospect in the western part of the permits at a depth of about 2,400m and the second, one of the other prospects in the permits. Deltana will also contribute to the historical costs on the permit and pay the first €1.5 million of future seismic expenditure.

Ascent Resources Managing Director Jeremy Eng said, "The terms of this farm-in confirm our belief of the exceptional quality of the Cento and Bastiglia exploration acreage. New exploration techniques have improved the chance of success in gas exploration, which in the Po Valley is already better than 1 in 4 over the period since the 1950s."

Geoffrey Bone CEO of Deltana said, "Our entry into the Po Valley permits represents a great strategic fit with Deltana's proposed Mediterranean strategy. This is focussed on participating in low cost onshore exploration in low risk and highly profitable gas producing provinces with established infrastructure. Ascent's portfolio in the Po Valley matches our criteria perfectly."