Northern Petroleum Updates on Interim Operations, Plans for 10 Wells

Northern Petroleum Plc released its interim operational highlights for the six months ended on June 30, 2008.

Operational Highlights:

  • Rig secured for three well program starting Q1 2009 to drill two exploration wells -- Nieuwendijk (56 to 83 million barrel oil prospect, Northern 22.5%) and Tiendeveen (67 to 98 bcf gas prospect, Northern 22.5%) -- plus drill a production development well in the Papekop oil field (containing probable recoverable reserves of 39.4 bcf of gas and 12.2 million barrels of oil, Northern 45%);
  • Four Dutch gas discoveries now to be developed as gas fields, not e-gen developments;
  • Critical long lead items for all six oil and gas field developments have been ordered and tenders are being reviewed for non critical long lead items, with production to commence in 2009;
  • Independent resource evaluation of six of the Company's drilling prospects in the Adriatic Sea, with the combined potential of the prospects assessed at 2.29 billion barrels of oil in place at a P50 probability, rising to a potential of 6.03 billion barrels at a P10 probability (Northern 50%);
  • Northern's first operated well in Italy expected to be drilled in Q1 2009 on the Savio license (mean estimate of 220 bcf of gas in place, Northern 50%), on trend to the recent Abbadesse gas discovery; negotiations are ongoing with potential new partners in both onshore and offshore licenses;
  • Markwells Wood-1 (mean estimate of 27.5 million barrels of oil in place, Northern 50%) expected to be drilled in early 2009; long term production from Avington expected to commence before the end of 2008; and
  • The Company is working on plans to drill 10 wells across the portfolio in the next 18 months.

Second Half Outlook:

  • Expected completion of the sale of interests in underground gas storage projects to Star Energy Group Plc realizing £7 million in cash with up to £3m of contingent consideration; and
  • Sales price received for existing Dutch gas production to increase significantly.

Richard Latham, Chairman, summarized, "We feel sufficiently well placed to have confidence that we will achieve our objectives of building up between 2009 and 2013 to 6,000 bopd production in The Netherlands from our existing discoveries, and have an exciting exploration future funded predominantly by that production."