Northern Petroleum Provides Update on Cygnus Reserves (Italy)

Northern Petroleum Provides Update on Cygnus Reserves (Italy)

Northern Petroleum Plc announces that the Cygnus prospect offshore Italy has now been mapped as an estimated unrisked prospective resource of up to 790 million barrels of recoverable oil within Northern’s 100% owned F.R39.NP permit. The prospect is adjacent to and up-dip of the producing Aquila oil field. This prospective resource estimate is based upon the Cygnus prospect sharing a common oil water contact with Aquila.

The work was undertaken by ERC Equipoise Ltd (“ERCE”). Northern’s mapping of the available 2D seismic data has not found a separation or barrier from the producing Aquila oil wells. The ERCE work was commissioned in January this year, following the publication of previously undisclosed well data relating to the Aquila oil field in an environmental submission by its operator, ENI S.p.A (“Eni”).

The Aquila wells are located in the production concession adjacent to permit F.R39.NP. It is the knowledge of the deeper oil water contact in those wells that increases the estimated prospective resources of the Cygnus prospect if it is proven to have the same oil water contact as the Aquila oil field.

The prospect trap for Cygnus is predominantly stratigraphic with the same reservoir as the Aquila field, consisting of Cretaceous resedimented carbonates derived from the Apulian platform. In their estimates ERCE recognise that it is possible for the Aquila field to be in charge communication with the Cygnus prospect and therefore have a common oil water contact with the Aquila field. This results in a High (P10) case of 978 million barrels, with 790 million barrels in Northern’s permit F.R39.NP. The Low (P90), Best (P50) and Mean cases use shallower contacts giving partial hydrocarbon fill of the mapped prospect and a separation of the Aquila field from the Cygnus prospect. ERCE has estimated a mean prospective resource of 446 million barrels, of which 401 million barrels is within the permit and the remainder beyond the permit boundary.

Seismic programme

The Cygnus prospect, the nearby similar Corvus prospect and the Rovesti oil discovery are the targets of a 3D seismic programme planned for acquisition this year following the receipt of currently pending environmental approvals. Northern has now started the process of collating the data for the submission of a environmental impact assessment for regulatory approval in relation to drilling an exploration well on the Cygnus prospect.

The agreement with Azimuth Limited announced on 25th March 2011 involving permits F.R39.NP and F.R40.NP has now lapsed. Northern has entered into discussions with a number of parties to join with Northern in the proposed 3D seismic survey and, more importantly, to drill and test a well on the Cygnus prospect.

Derek Musgrove, Managing Director of Northern, stated:
“This project is materially valuable to shareholders and our efforts in Italy have now been concentrated upon this. Discussions are currently progressing with major industry partners to join with Northern to drill the prospect. 

The availability of the new Aquila well data has greatly increased our confidence levels in the Cygnus prospect. Yet further, ERCE have independently confirmed the Cygnus prospect as being a very significant prospective resource that has in the upside case the potential to be close to a billion barrels of recoverable oil based on a common oil water contact with the Aquila field. We have been working on this for some time and it is greatly pleasing that the independent work shows that the permit has a potential of having significant value to shareholders. We continue to see our efforts in Italy being focussed upon seeing it drilled. ” 

Press Release, March 19, 2013