VENTURE PRODUCTION plc - Dutch and UK Gas Asset Acquisitions

abarrelfullabarrelfull wrote on 01 Apr 2015 14:25
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18 March 2008

Venture Production plc ("Venture"), the Aberdeen headquartered UK independent oil and gas production company, today announces that it has recently completed two further acquisitions. The first of these expands Venture's Dutch offshore business with the acquisition of a material interest in and operatorship of the
60 billion cubic feet ("Bcf") F3-FA gas discovery whilst the second gives Venture 100% of the Chiswick gas field that came onstream in September 2007.

F3-FA Discovery (Venture est. 58%, operator)

Venture has acquired its interest in the F3-FA gas discovery through a transaction with Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij B.V. ("NAM"). The F3-1 well drilled in 1971 and the F3-8 well drilled in 1982 discovered a gas condensate accumulation lying predominantly in Block F3 (Venture 60%, operator) with an extension into Block B18a (Venture 50%, operator). The field is located in a water depth of 45m and is 230km north of Den Helder, 20km east of the F3-FB platform and 23km north-east of the F2a-Hanze platform. It is anticipated that, following unitisation of the field across Blocks F3 and B18a, Venture will hold a 58% working interest in the F3-FA discovery.

Base case gross recoverable reserves are estimated to be around 60 Bcf from a single horizontal well which will be designed to target both sides of a fault block in the north of the reservoir. The development plan envisages a subsea completion and tie-back to nearby host infrastructure. Offshore processing is likely to be carried out on a new build limited manning mobile self-installing production platform. This installation would have all the necessary processing and gas compression capability to deliver dry gas and condensate directly into the export pipeline, thus removing the need to use third party topsides processing. With a generic design in terms of its processing capability, the platform would be reusable for the production of stranded gas assets across the southern North Sea.

Chiswick - UKCS Block 49/4a (Venture 100%, operator)

Venture has increased its equity in the Chiswick field to 100% through the acquisition of Wintershall Noordzee B.V.'s 5% interest in Block 49/4a. Block 49/ 4a contains the Chiswick Alpha well that started production at the end of September 2007.

Venture also has a 100% interest in Block 49/4b which contains the Chiswick Gamma well which has recently been brought onstream after a successful fraccing programme. Chiswick Gamma is the second of three main fault blocks within the reservoir and, subject to satisfactory performance from the first two wells, up to three further wells may be drilled

Commenting on the news, Mike Wagstaff, Chief Executive, said:

"The F3-FA acquisition marks our first expansion deal in the Dutch sector. We see this discovery as an ideal opportunity for Venture to deploy its field development skills offshore Holland and it marks the first step toward enlarging our footprint in what we believe to be a part of the North Sea that is relatively underexploited. I am delighted that we have an important new project for the Dutch team to work on following their successful development of Chiswick, a producing gas field in which we now hold 100%. We are still in the detailed field development planning phase for F3-FA but, subject to agreeing commercial terms with the owners of potential host infrastructure, we anticipate bringing F3-FA onstream by 2011.

After a relatively quiet 2007 for business development, since the start of this calendar year we have already been able to announce 5 new deals. Taken together, these give more than 15 million barrels of oil equivalent in discovered resources which we can now plan to bring into production over the 2009 to 2013 timeframe."

Notes to Editors:

F3-FA Discovery

  • 60 Bcf gas field discovered by wells drilled in 1971 (F3-1) and 1982 (F3-8)
  • Venture working interest : 58% (estimated post-unitisation)
  • Potential development utilising a mobile self installing production platform
  • Currently in field development planning phase
  • Potentially onstream by 2011

Transaction Background

The transaction with NAM followed on from the corporate acquisition by Venture of EDP F3 Developments Limited from Energy Development Partners Fund 1 LP ("EDP Fund 1"), a privately held company that had carried out considerable work to mature the F3-FA investment opportunity and field development concept. The cash consideration and contingent payments to be made to EDP Fund 1 upon receipt of F3-FA Field Development Plan approval and first commercial production are, even when taken together, not material in the context of Venture's business.

Mr. Graeme Sword of 3i Group and Mr. Lawrence Kinch, both non-executive directors of Venture, are directors of the fund management company ("the Fund Manager") that manages EDP Fund 1 and Mr. Kinch holds a beneficial interest in both the Fund Manager and EDP Fund 1. However, neither Mr. Sword nor Mr. Kinch holds or controls interests of a sufficient size for them to be classed as an associate of the EDP Fund 1 and, consequently, no related party issue arises under the Listing Rules. Similarly, the threshold for either Mr Sword or Mr Kinch to be classed as holding a Substantial Interest in EDP Fund 1 under the definition used in the Companies Act 2006 is not met. Notwithstanding the de minimis level of their interests EDP Fund 1, neither Mr. Sword nor Mr. Kinch played any role in Venture's Board process in evaluating the transaction from Venture's perspective or in Venture approval process.


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