Northern Petroleum Grabs 5th License in Adriatic Sea

Northern Petroleum's wholly owned subsidiary, Northern Petroleum (UK) Limited has been advised of the preliminary award of offshore Italian licence d60F.R-.NP, covering 742 square kilometers. Northern has been invited to prepare the required environmental impact study which work will now commence.

The award is adjacent to FR39.NP and FR.40.NP and two other preliminary awarded offshore licences. It adds an important area to the Company's already substantial position in the Durres Basin where two of three oil discoveries have been assessed by independent petroleum engineers as having 53.23 million gross Probable Reserves (Northern share: 26.62 million).

In the two fully awarded licences alone the exploration potential has already been assessed at 1.26 to 6 billion barrels oil in place. All but one of these six drillable prospects were recognised and mapped by the previous operator, Enterprise Oil. They remained un-drilled during the period of much lower oil pricing.

The d60, d61 and d149 licences are also seen as having considerable potential given the number of leads and prospects already identified by the Company.

Northern holds a 100% interest in the licence, but a subsidiary of ATI Oil Plc, in which Northern holds a 37.05% equity interest, has a 50% pari passu commercial interest in the licence, giving Northern Petroleum Plc an overall net beneficial interest of 68.52% (36.5 million barrels of Probable Reserves).

In Italy Northern is the operator of 24 licences, preliminary awards and uncontested applications, covering an area in excess of 13,000 km², being second only to Eni in acreage under management.

"The Durres Basin in the southern part of the Adriatic is a core area in which we already hold 53.2 million gross and 36.5 million net beneficial barrels of Probable oil reserves and six drillable prospects," Derek Musgrove, managing director of Northern, said. "At small cost we have licensed a contiguous area the size of 15 North Sea Blocks, acquired access to over 6,000 kilometers of seismic data with three oil discoveries, six very substantial recognised drilling prospects, one with oil reserves both up-dip and down-dip, and a large prospective exploration area in a producing oil and gas province."

"The most explored part of the area to date has compelling analogies to the Golden Lane and Poza Rica trend in Mexico which contains the multi-billion barrel Poza Rica field and many others," he continued. "This project is a real achievement. I know that our team will develop these opportunities with enthusiasm as it is seldom that one comes across and successfully licenses such established potential."