Ascent Resources Says Arrone-1 Non-Commercial

Ascent Resources has completed drilling the Arrone-1 well in the Fiume Arrone Exploration Permit, to the west of Rome, and continues testing operations on the Anagni-1 oil discovery well in the Frosinone Exploration Permit to the southeast of Rome.

The Arrone-1 well has been drilled to a total depth of 894m, The Base Pliocene Unconformity, which was the target for the well, was penetrated at 820m and drilling continued into the underlying Miocene section. Despite strong gas shows during drilling of the Pliocene section, which necessitated a 20% increase in drilling mud weight, the logs showed that there were only thin, low porosity sand units that would not be capable of commercial production at this location. The partners in the project, Italmin Exploration (14%), Oracle Energy (20%), JKX Italia (10%) and Ascent's wholly owned subsidiary Ascent Resources Italia (56% and operator),have therefore agreed to plug and abandon the well.

The production test of the Anagni-1 well continues with approximately 20% of the lost drilling fluid so far recovered. Samples of fluid taken a week ago, and analyzed in a third party laboratory, show traces of oil in the recovered fluids up to 0.5% by volume. The well, which is equipped with a pump jack ('nodding-donkey' pump), has been producing back the drilling fluids at a sustained rate of circa 200 barrels (31.8 cu.m) per day. The preliminary results of the offset well seismic (VSP survey) have been received and these confirm that the well was drilled on flank of the structure with the shallower part to the east.

Ascent's Managing Director Jeremy Eng said, "The result of the Arrone well was a disappointment as during drilling all the indications were very good; there was just a lack of good quality reservoir sands. However, at Anagni, all the information that we have so far is encouraging. The results of the offset well seismic confirm that we drilled on the flank of the structure, which gives significant up-dip potential and the sustained 200 barrels per day production rate confirms the excellent productivity of the formation."