Venture Production has entered into an 'earn-in' agreement with Agip to acquire an additional 11.11% interest in, and Operatorship of, Block 48/10a in the Southern North Sea containing the undeveloped Annabel gas field taking Venture's total working interest to 88.89%. Venture will acquire this interest through the drilling of an appraisal well on the block scheduled for the third quarter of 2002, which Venture will operate. On proving commercial reserves, Venture intends to pursue a fast-track development of the Annabel gas field with a view to bringing the field on stream in late 2004 or early 2005. Based on the anticipated well cost, the consideration for this additional interest is estimated at 600,000 pounds.
In conjunction with the previously announced acquisition of an additional 17.7% interest in the Sycamore field located in Block 16/12a, since its flotation in March, Venture has added net proven and probable reserves of 4.6 Million barrels of oil equivalent ('MMboe') together with an additional 4.3 MMboe of possible reserves. Commenting on the acquisition, Venture's Chief Executive Bruce Dingwall said: 'This consolidates Venture's position in two fields within two operated core areas in the North Sea and is consistent with our strategy of acquiring large and, where possible, operated interests in our assets. Once on stream at peak production rates in 2004/5, these two additional interests will increase Venture's production by a total of over 5,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.'