Venture Suspends Andrea Well in 'A' Fields Area of North Sea

Venture Production has announced the result of the Andrea gas exploration well (Venture operated -- 100% interest) located in block 48/15b in the 'A' Fields area of the southern North Sea.

The Andrea well 48/15b-10 commenced drilling from the Noble Julie Robertson jackup on June 6, 2009 and reached a total measured depth of 10,200 feet on July 16, 2009. The well was designed to test the Leman sandstone with gas being discovered in the upper sands.

Indications are however that the reservoir is tight and is unlikely to flow without stimulation. The lower sand appears to be water wet, based on an initial analysis of the logs, although the tight nature of the reservoir makes interpretation of the exact gaswater contact difficult. The well will now be suspended pending further analysis of well logs and core samples.

The potential of the Andrea gas discovery for commercial development will now be assessed, although the tight nature of the reservoir is likely to constrain recoverable reserves to the lower end of pre-drill expectations of 3 to 44 million barrels of oil equivalent ('MMboe'). Consequently, any development of Andrea would most likely be in conjunction with the nearby Ensign field.

Commenting on the news, Mike Wagstaff, Chief Executive said, "We have already added significantly to our reserves base this year and while the Andrea result is disappointing after initial positive indications, our success with the five previous wells we have already drilled in 2009 puts us in a great position to continue to grow our production over the next few years. We hope to add further successful wells in the second half of this year and our multi-rig programme continues with the Whitbeck exploration well in the East Irish Sea which is currently drilling and the East Annabel appraisal well which we will spud when the rig has finished operations on Andrea."