Ascent Acquires Additional Interest in Hungary

Ascent has acquired a 60% interest in the 1,990 sq km Igal-II exploration permit in Central Hungary though its 60% equity interest in Hungarian company Pelsolaj kft ('Pelsolaj'). The exploration permit, to the south east of Lake Balaton, was acquired from Winstar Resources Limited in exchange for a 4% net profit interest derived from future production from the permit area. 

Initial exploration will concentrate on a 300 sq km area known for pre-Pannonian sediments which are highly prospective for oil, and where a number of shallow leads, c.1,000m, have already been identified. Seismic acquisition is currently underway with the objective to determine the first drilling location. 

Ascent's Managing Director, Jeremy Eng, commented, "Our Company's gas production project in eastern Hungary is a very profitable venture and we are pleased to be able to participate in another project in Hungary which has excellent potential for the discovery of oil. Seismic acquisition is on-going and is designed to identify the first drilling location which is expected to be between three old wells in which the prospective formations have been shown to be present. Importantly, a number of discoveries in similar geological structures nearby produce good quality oil at rates typically in excess of 100 bopd per well. 

Whilst our focus in the short term is the Petisovci-Lovaszi gas production and development projects straddling the Hungarian and Slovenian borders, this project provides an excellent opportunity to acquire prospective acreage in a region where we have extensive operational experience, with exploration upside which we can exploit in 2011." 

The other participants in the project will be GTO Limited who are 20% partners in Ascent's Dutch offshore project, Geomega kft and Swede Resources AB, each with a 10% interest and also participate in Ascent's Penészlek Gas Production Project in eastern Hungary.