Northern Petroleum Plc is an AIM quoted exploration and production company which is undergoing change to realise the significant latent value from its existing assets. The Company owns both operated and non-operated equity interests in oil and gas licences around the world. The strategic focus for the business is at both ends of the exploration and production spectrum, i.e. higher risk and higher reward exploration and early stage appraisal projects, as well as lower risk production and development opportunities. This approach aims to produce a growing business with sustainable and increasing levels of production, as well as providing share holders with exposure to potentially significant value enhancing events through exploration and appraisal opportunities. The geographic focus for the Group is in countries of relatively low political risk
Northern Petroleum (LON:NOP) is set to step up its activity in the South Adriatic after the Italian ministry of economic development signed off on its plans.
The work, primarily consisting of seismic exploration, will centre on two permits that host the Rovesti and Giove oil discoveries which currently host 53.2 million barrels of 2P reserves between them.
A 2D seismic survey is already contracted and scheduled for later this year (late Q3/early Q4). This 2D survey should help de-risk the area’s significant exploration prospects, Northern said. Subsequently Northern is planning two 3D seismic surveys over Rovesti and Giove.
The 3D programme is slated for Q4 and Northern said that the planning phase will intensify, now that the ministry has approved its plans.
"Exploration of the Southern Adriatic area is a major priority for Northern, so I am delighted to be able to report greater visibility on our forward plans as a consequence of the approval of our enhanced work programmes for the two permits,” said managing director Derek Musgrove.
“CGG Veritas should be commencing a 2D survey in late Q3 / early Q4, and we look forward to also firming up the 3D surveys, the first activities with our new partner, Azimuth, within our 2011 programme.”
Speaking about a potential cooling of the Italian government’s stance on offshore oil exploration, Musgrove added: "I note the recent offshore permit award announced by ADX Energy, after a twelve month hiatus.
“I am hopeful is a positive sign of the start of the award of new offshore permits to both Northern and other applicants."
Northern believes the permits have the potential over 3 billion barrels of oil-in-place and gas prospects with a mean of over 2 trillion cubic feet of gas-in-place.
All this work is being funded by Azimuth Ltd who agreed to farm-in to the permits, by covering certain exploration costs, back in March. Through the deal the privately held firm can earn a 15 percent stake.
Azimuth chief executive Aaron D'Este said: "Receiving Ministry approval for the enhanced work program is excellent news.
“We already know that there is an active petroleum system in the Adriatic basin and 3D seismic is the natural next step to highlight commercial accumulations. Working closely with Northern Petroleum, we will complete the planned surveys as quickly and safely as possible, and then move on to defining drillable targets early in the New Year."