Matra Recommences Appraisal Drilling in Russia

Matra has provided an update on appraisal well-13 on the Sokolovskoye field, in the Orenburg region, Russia.

Further to our announcement on January 26, 2010, Matra reported that the handover of drilling operations to the new drilling contractor, Siberian Service Kompania (CCK), has been completed. Furthermore, the Nitrogen influx has now been controlled and the Blow-Out-Preventers (BOP's) opened. Full mud circulation has been restored, drilling has recommenced and the depth at 9.00am this morning was 987m. (Projected total depth is 3850m)

Matra's Managing Director, Peter Hind said, "We are pleased to be drilling again and to have the new contractor fully onboard. The immediate aim now is to complete this section of the well and cement the casing to fully isolate the Nitrogen zone and avoid further difficulties. The wellbore appears to be in good condition and we hope to make better progress towards our target depth. Importantly, the cost impact of these remedial operations has not been significant and the company remains well funded to complete the well and other anticipated activities. We will report further progress of the well as appropriate."