27 August 2019
Ascent Resources plc
("Ascent" or the "Company")
Ascent Resources plc (AIM: AST), an independent oil and gas exploration and production company, operating the Petišovci Gas Project in Slovenia, is pleased to provide the following corporate update.
Implementation of Strategy
The Board continues working towards fully capturing the value of the investment made in Slovenia as well as diversifying into other nearby regions. In Slovenia, a number of actions and initiatives are being taken.
The Company and its Partners are exploring various options for the continued development of the Petišovci gas field that would not require hydraulic stimulation. Based on the reinterpretation of the newly reprocessed 3D seismic, the Partners are evaluating other potential drilling opportunities and re-entry into existing wells in the Concession to accelerate the production of the significant reserves in the area.
Looking forward, Ascent and Concession holder Geoenergo are currently working on documentation for the extension of the Petišovci Concession beyond 2022.
Finally, the new management and board have taken over day to day operations of the Company and finalising cost reduction measures to reduce net monthly cash outflow by over 50%, as previously outlined.
3D Seismic Reprocessing
Reprocessing of the 177 sq. km Petišovci 3D seismic survey acquired by Ascent and Geoenergo in 2008-2009 is nearing completion.
The Company is currently interpreting preliminary data volumes in preparation for a full evaluation of the new seismic volumes. This will be driven by using advanced seismic interpretation techniques using the newly reprocessed 3D seismic to find stratigraphically trapped reserves on the flanks of the large already producing structures in the area. Delivery of the final reprocessed data volumes is expected by mid-September.
Claims for damages
The Company continues to prepare legal claims for damages against the persistent delays in permitting relating to the further development of the tight gas reservoirs in the Petišovci gas field. The Board will update shareholders on the status of those claims and potential funding for litigation in due course.
John Buggenhagen, CEO of Ascent Resources plc, commented:
"I am excited by the progress we have made in such a short time. We have implemented a revised operating structure to reduce our costs by 50% while continuing to focus on maintaining the value of Ascent's interests in the Petišovci gas field and larger Concession area. Irrespective of our plans to prepare legal claims following the delays in receiving permits, we will continue to work with our partners and advisers to further streamline the business and implement our plan to re-focus Ascent towards growing our reserves and production base in Slovenia and the region.
Ascent has a real advantage as a growth platform in Slovenia with a partnership in existing production, infrastructure in place, including a direct gas sales pipeline and a gas sales agreement with INA, and a newly reprocessed modern 3D seismic survey covering the entire Concession area which is in a prolific petroleum system.
Looking forward, we plan to work with our Partners in Slovenia to increase production through new conventional drilling opportunities as well as options to re-enter existing reservoirs to capture additional reserves in the Concession area using the newly reprocessed 3D seismic to find stratigraphically trapped reserves on the flanks of the large already producing structures in the area.
Ascent and our Partners continue to pursue an appeal against the decision of the Environment Ministry in Slovenia requiring an EIA for the re-stimulation of our producing wells. Further, we continue to prepare claims for damages against the Republic of Slovenia for breaches of EU law in relation to their decision, including the significant delays in the decision-making process.
We will continue to push Ascent forward to realise the significant value of the Company's investments and assets in Slovenia, while looking to diversify our asset base in the region. We look forward to updating the market on developments going forward."
Ascent Resources plc
John Buggenhagen, CEO
Louis Castro, Chairman
020 7251 4905
WH Ireland, Nominated Adviser & Joint Broker
James Joyce / Chris Savidge
020 7220 1666
SP Angel, Joint Broker
Richard Redmayne / Richard Hail
020 3470 0470
Yellow Jersey, Financial PR and IR
Tim Thompson / Harriet Jackson / Henry Wilkinson
020 3004 9512
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