Cygnus Gas Field Extended through Appraisal Drilling

Venture Production has announced a further successful appraisal well on the Cygnus gas field. This latest well has confirmed gas in a third fault block which materially expands the potential recoverable reserves from the field. Venture has a 48.75% non-operated interest in Cygnus which lies within UKCS blocks 44/12a and 44/11a near to the Caister Murdoch System (CMS) area in the southern North Sea. The Cygnus field is operated by GDF Suez.

Cygnus is a large gas field comprising both Leman and Carboniferous reservoirs with up to five potential productive fault blocks. Following the announcement of a successful appraisal well in February (44/12a-3) which confirmed productive reservoir in the second fault block, a further appraisal well has been drilled to target the north eastern section of the field. This well (44/12a-4) has successfully tested the third fault block with a tubing constrained stabilized flow rate of 32 million standard cubic feet per day (MMscfpd), significantly better than the 5 - 10 MMscfpd anticipated pre-drill. In addition, strong tubing head pressure was observed which indicates the potential for very good well deliverability. The well was drilled by the Noble Ronald Hoope jackup drilling rig and was spudded on February 21, 2009. It reached a total depth (TD) of 12,284 ft and encountered 63 feet of gas bearing reservoir in the Leman interval.

A draft field development plan has been prepared which envisages a phased development of the now fully appraised eastern part of the field. In due course, further appraisal drilling may be carried out in the as yet under appraised western part of the field which could lead to additional recoverable reserves through further phases of field development.

Commenting on the news, Mike Wagstaff, Chief Executive said, "Testing gas at a very good rate from an additional fault block successfully completes the appraisal of the eastern part of the field. We believe that Cygnus will prove to be one of the UK's largest remaining undeveloped gas fields. The Cygnus partnership is well placed to move this field rapidly into development and the large working interest that Venture acquired in two deals last year now forms an exciting part of our developing business."

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