Northern Petroleum Posts Nieuwendijk Well Results

Northern Petroleum Plc

Northern Petroleum announced that the Nieuwendijk well drilled by its wholly owned subsidiary Northern Petroleum Nederland B.V. ('Northern') has reached a total depth of 2677 meters having penetrated the primary Bunter sandstone reservoirs. Encouragingly significant oil shows to surface and substantial drilling fluid losses occurred during the drilling of this section. These have been evaluated by electric logs and pressure tests, the results indicating the probability that the levels of oil saturations are not sufficient to warrant significant costs of testing.

These results along with other information obtained from the well will be integrated into our interpretation of the area around the Ottoland and Brakel fields enabling a new evaluation to be made of the nearby and adjacent structures. The velocity information is rapidly being incorporated into these depth maps.

Discussions are ongoing with a third party as to a possible geothermal energy application for the site and the well. With a bottom hole temperature of over 90 degrees C this is an interesting fall back of commercial potential for depleted and unsuccessful wells drilled in this densely populated region.

Northern's activities in The Netherlands will now concentrate and intensify on the program for the development of its six onshore fields, Brakel, Geesbrug, Grolloo, Ottoland, Papekop and Wijk en Alburg, together estimated to contain 45.5 million barrels of oil equivalence ('boe') net to Northern. This drilling rig, following a few days for modifications is being mobilized to operations on the Geesbrug gas field to prepare for hydraulic fracturing ('Fraccing') of the gas bearing Permian (Rotliegend) and Carboniferous (Dalen and Hardenburg) reservoirs. Thereafter the rig will move to the Tiendeveen gas prospect adjacent to the Geesbrug gas field, targeting 67bcf gas in place. The Fraccing operations at the Grolloo gas field will commence shortly and do not require this rig.

Derek Musgrove Managing Director stated, "Drilling the well did confirm our interpretation that the structure should contain oil, being in close proximity to the Ottoland oil field. However, the result of the electric log interpretation and pressure tests indicated that the oil accumulation has been breached and insufficient oil remains to be exploited. A disappointment, but in the overall Netherlands drilling program Northern has an additional undeveloped gas discovery in the Andel III Licence and further undeveloped gas discoveries and significant oil and gas exploration prospects in the adjacent Utrecht licence. These discoveries form Northern's continuing program in the region next year.

"Our interest in geothermal energy will increase with activity. It has a potential to provide a significant salvage value to unsuccessful drilling efforts in populated areas where the reservoir temperatures are around 90 degrees - 100 degrees C.

"I note a good operational performance was achieved using a new rig drilling its first well. No injuries or lost time accidents occurred and it was a remarkably successful effort for our first use of drilling with casing technology. A European record was achieved, which we plan to exceed at Tiendeveen this summer."