Venture to Tie-In New Chestnut Production Well in Early 2009

Venture Production has provided a further update on field performance and activity following on from the announcement of first production from the new Chestnut Field in mid-September. Venture is the field operator and holds a 69.875% working interest in the part of block 22/2a containing the Chestnut field.

The field has already produced nearly 500,000 barrels of oil and the second lifting via tanker off-take has been successfully completed. The average gross production rate since first oil is 12,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day ("boepd") or 8,400 boepd net to Venture. The production up time since first oil has been in excess of 99% despite final commissioning activities on several systems continuing through the period.

A second Chestnut production well, which was spudded on September 7, 2008, has now been successfully drilled, completed and tested. The well was completed across 64' of oil bearing sandstone and produced at a maximum gross rate of 9,000 boepd during testing, although the rate was restricted by the surface test facilities. Pressure measurements taken during testing confirmed that the well is connected to the main body of the field and can therefore be supported by the injection well that was drilled in 2006 as part of the overall field development plan.

The new production well will be tied-in to the subsea infrastructure during early 2009 and is expected to significantly increase production rates, recoverable reserves and overall field life. Investment in
this second production well was sanctioned in May 2008 and on current plans, will have been drilled and brought onstream in less than nine months.

Commenting on the news, Mike Wagstaff, Chief Executive said, "Production thus far from the Chestnut Field is at the upper end of our expectations. Most encouragingly, the results of the second production well are exactly what we had hoped for and are testament to the innovative seismic technology which we have used. Once on stream next year, the second production well will confirm Chestnut as major contributor to Venture group production.

"Once again Venture has demonstrated an ability to profitably acquire, develop and produce assets that had been left ‘stranded’ by previous owners. Further, in bringing Chestnut onstream with the Hummingbird FPSO we have also proven a new field development concept that will open up a number of smaller North Sea accumulations to development."