Venture Takes a Bigger Bite of Bligh, Predicts Production in 2013

Venture has increased its working interest in Block 21/20d, which contains the Bligh gas condensate discovery, from 20.7% to 30.5% through an acquisition from Shell.

Bligh was discovered in 1995 by the 21/20a-5 well and a drill stem test carried out at the time flowed 2,750 bopd of 45.6 API condensate and 15.4 MMcf/d. Recent detailed technical work has increased the expected recoverable volumes by a factor of almost three times over those estimated in 2005 when Venture acquired its initial equity in the acreage, and it is now estimated that Bligh contains around 30 million boe gross.

Planning is under way to develop the field over the nearby Venture-operated Kittiwake platform. As Bligh is a gas condensate accumulation, additional topsides processing facilities will be required and various options for this are being examined with a view toward achieving first production by 2013. Given the need for additional processing Bligh becomes a natural follow-on project once the current oil fields producing across Kittiwake have reached the tail-end of their productive life. If successful, it will extend the life of the platform by several years and create additional value for the owners of the recently completed Kittiwake export pipeline.

Venture will become operator of Block 21/20d, and two out of its three field partners have also simultaneously completed transactions with Shell which increase their equity pro-rata to Venture's additional interest. The consideration was £286,000 paid in cash upon completion of the transaction, prior to some minor adjustments for working capital.