Ascent, Otto to Spud Po Valley's Gazzata-1 in 2009

Ascent Resources plc

Ascent Resources plc expects that the drilling of the Gazzata-1 gas exploration well in the Cento-Bastiglia permits of Italy's prolific Po Valley will now start in January 2009. The drilling schedule has been revised at the request of joint venture partner Otto Energy as Otto currently awaits income from first production at the Galoc oilfield in the Philippines.

Otto will earn a 50% working interest in the Cento-Bastiglia permits via the funding of 100% of the cost of Gazzata-1 and, if successful, the cost of a second well. Over-budget expenditure on either well will be shared equally.

The Gazzata-1 well, which targets a large Pliocene gas exploration prospect at a depth of c 2,400 m, will be drilled by the new Perazzoli HH200 rig which is 22.5% owned by Ascent. The rig is currently drilling its first well for a third party in southern Italy and will now be contracted for two other third party wells in the Po Valley before mobilising to the Gazzata-1 location. The new rig is operating better than anticipated and is expected to complete these wells ahead of schedule.