Northern Petroleum Preps Brakel Well for Production; Updates Ops

Northern Petroleum announced an operational update on its Netherlands, Guyane, Italy and UK assets.

The Netherlands

At the Brakel gas field the final completion phase of the development has been reached. System integrity checks and pre-commissioning activities are ongoing with the target of achieving first production before the end of September 2010.

Northern has received all approvals required for the development of the Wijk en Aalburg field. The site development activities were started with the commencement of laying foundations for the process equipment on August 23rd.

These two fields have the potential to increase production in excess of 1100 boepd net to Northern.

At the Waalwijk gas field Northern is modifying the compression configuration during a planned shutdown in September to maintain production levels and extend field life.

The Geesbrug single well gas field has now delivered 50 million nm³ (Northern 45%) since coming on production in January 2010. Production from the Grolloo gas field has been temporarily suspended for a mechanical workover prior to recommencing production.

Progress towards the granting of a loan facility to enable the faster development of the Netherlands reserves is being progressed as production revenues increase from the additional fields being brought into production.


Following Tullow Oil's Interim Results announcement on August 25, Northern would like to note its comments in respect of the exploration acreage which it shares with Tullow in Guyane:

Tullow, after a successful farm-down process to Shell (33%) and Total (25%) in 2009, has retained an interest of 39.5% in the 35,000 sq km Guyane Maritime license offshore French Guiana. Northpet Investments Limited holds a 2.5% interest, in which Northern owns a 50% equity interest. A number of Jubilee-type leads have been identified in the south-eastern part of the block and the acquisition of a large 3D seismic program (2,500 sq km) was completed in early February 2010. Processing and interpretation of this dataset is ongoing and planning for the first well on the material Zaedyus prospect is continuing, with a target spud date of February 2011.


Onshore within the Longastrino permit the La Tosca prospect defined on 3D seismic data and with mean gross prospective resources of 44 Bcf and an upside of 85 bcf is being progressed for drilling. Farmout negotiations are ongoing to bring additional partners into the permit for the drilling.

The 3D seismic data acquired over the significant prospects in the West of Sicily Thrust and Fold Belt is nearing completion of initial processing and work will then commence with interpretation to select a drilling location.

The Company took the decision to seek suspension of the decrees on permits C.R146.NP and C.R147.NP following the current legislative uncertainty regarding offshore operations. These permits are being reviewed by potential farmin partners. ADX Energy is drilling the Lambouka-1 well in Tunisian waters close to C.R147.NP and the well is being followed closely as the expected target reservoirs are equivalent although the structural setting of the prospect being drilled is different to the prospects mapped on this permit.

The company continues to seek potential partners in those permits held on a 100% basis and its track record with farmouts is good. Of the ten fully awarded offshore licenses six have been farmed out to Shell Italia.

United Kingdom

Due to greater than anticipated interest and a late entrant to the sales process for the UK assets and extension into a holiday period for much of the industry the closing date for offers has been extended and will be re-established after consultation with the interested parties. The UK assets under offer include 6.82 million barrels of Proven and Probable oil reserves.

As the Operator, NOP is finalizing the drilling programs for two wells and activities will not be held up for the sales process. The construction of both the Havant and Markwells Wood well sites are now completed. Negotiations are progressing to secure a surface location from which the Hedge End well can be drilled. Providence Resources as Operator of PEDL 233 (NOP: 50%) has commenced the well planning to drill the Baxters Copse well from its Singleton oilfield facilities.

An RPS EnergyReport attributes to PEDL 233 gross 2P and 3P reserves of 5.36 and 15.06 million stock tank barrels respectively of undeveloped reserves (50% Northern), significantly larger than previous estimates. There are also plans to further evaluate the other prospects within PEDL 233.