Ascent to acquire EnQuest's interest in the Petişovci Project in Slovenia

abarrelfullabarrelfull wrote on 28 Jun 2011 05:33
Tags: ascent slovenia upstream

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Ascent Resources plc, the AIM-traded oil and gas exploration and production company, announces that the leading independent oil & gas company on the UK Continental Shelf, EnQuest PLC, ('EnQuest') has today agreed to dispose its 48.75% interest in the Petişovci Project ('the Project') in Slovenia, in return for a 22.5% equity stake in Ascent.

Post the completion of this transaction, Ascent will see its interest in the deep reservoirs of the highly prospective Petişovci Concession increase from 26.25% to 75%. On a diluted basis, existing shareholders in Ascent will initially see their exposure to the core Petişovci Project area increase to 58.1%.

EnQuest has agreed to provide technical support to Ascent for the Petişovci Project, as well as for the evaluation of future European business development opportunities. Additionally as part of the agreement and to underpin its support, EnQuest has agreed to appoint Graham Cooper, EnQuest's Head of Business Development, to the Board of Ascent as a non-executive Director.

In addition to the issue of 150,903,958 new ordinary shares to EnQuest, Ascent will also grant EnQuest a nil cost option over 29,686,000 additional new ordinary shares, subject to certain criteria related to the successful development of the Petişovci project. The option will potentially allow EnQuest to benefit from the future success of the Project, however should the interest in the deep reservoirs of the Petişovci licence be relinquished, the option lapses without recourse. EnQuest has committed to a 12 month lock-in and a subsequent 12 month orderly market agreement on all its shares issued, including those resulting from any exercise of the option.

Ascent's Managing Director Jeremy Eng said, "This transaction is an excellent outcome for Ascent shareholders, as we have increased our interest in this core field and will now retain a 75% interest in this Slovenian licence for our shareholders. Additionally, I am delighted that EnQuest is expressing its confidence in Ascent through this transaction, and by its acceptance of a board seat, Ascent can expect to benefit substantially from EnQuest's experience. Against the background of the imminent commencement of drilling of the Pg-11 well, the first well to be drilled into the core field area in 30 years, and with substantially increased equity in the project, which allows us to work efficiently with Geoenergo our Slovenian partners, I look forward to working with a company of EnQuest's calibre and reputation, to enable us to optimise the value of these assets for our respective shareholders."

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