Ascent Resources Sees European Operations as 'Highly Profitable'
Ascent Resources continues exploration and development work across its portfolio of assets in six European countries. Seven wells have been drilled in the last two years and a further 10 are planned over the next two years. 2008 is expected to see gas production from the Company's Hungarian assets and work is progressing which will also enable production from the Slovenian Petisovsci project.
The seven wells drilled 2006-2007 including the successful PEN-104 gas discovery in Hungary, which is planned to produce gas in 2008.
The portfolio continues to grow and improve in quality through rigorous management of risk and value.
The European platform provides a balance of low risk and high potential with managed exposure to upside value through the mix of Development, Appraisal and Exploration projects.
Focus remains on drilling and testing to prove hydrocarbon reserves – 10 wells planned during 2008-2009.
The company is enjoying ready access to drilling rigs as a result of 22.5% strategic interest in Perazzoli Drilling srl ('Perazzoli').
Farm-outs in place are enabling acceleration of projects – further risk reduction and provision of exploration capital from partnerships being explored prior to moving focus onto development and cash flow from production.
Ascent Managing Director Jeremy Eng said, "The Company's strategy is to operate in Europe where it can benefit from highly profitable development projects, well developed infrastructure with deregulated local market access and both political and financial stability. In line with this, our portfolio continues to improve in quality and value as the Company's technical staff work to reduce risk and calibrate the value of each asset within the portfolio. As our portfolio matures, the drilling and testing to prove hydrocarbon reserves will remain the primary objective, with development and cash flow from production a secondary focus.
"The Company has gained a competitive advantage in the countries of operation and farm-outs for the time being will be the predominant source of exploration funds. Over the past 12 months, we have used our specialist local knowledge to acquire additional assets in Slovenia and Hungary and aim to use our minority interest in the Italian drilling contractor Perazzoli to take advantage of the severely limited rig market in Europe."
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