Steam Oil to Acquire the Elke & Narwhal Discoveries

The Steam Oil Production Company is pleased to announce that it has entered into a sale and purchase agreement with EnQuest Heather Ltd to acquire a 100% interest in Licence P1996, made up of blocks 28/2b and 28/3b, which cover the Elke and Narwhal discoveries. The transfer of the interest is subject to approval by the Oil & Gas Authority (OGA), which would also require OGA's approval of The Steam Oil Production Company Ltd as licence operator.

The Narwhal field was discovered by well 28/2-1, which was drilled by Arco in 1993. The well encountered heavy oil in an Eocene Tay sandstone and a sample of 14° API oil was recovered, the viscosity measured for the Narwhal oil was in excess of 2,000 cP. This interval was also logged and cored. The Narwhal field has an estimated oil in place of around 41 mmbbls.

The Elke field was discovered by well 28/3-1B which was drilled by Murphy in 2000. The Elke field is also a Tay sandstone reservoir but of a slightly different age to that encountered in the Narwhal well. A full logging suite was recorded, reservoir pressures were measured and oil samples were taken. Core was also recovered over the reservoir interval. The API gravity of the oil samples ranges from 12º to 15° and the oil viscosity is believed to lie in the range 300 to 800 cP at reservoir conditions. The Elke field has an oil in place of about 185 mmbbls.

There are a number of low risk Tay sand prospects within the licence area with estimated prospective resources of oil in place of just over 100 mmbbls; and a further Jurassic prospect which could contain just under 100 mmbbls of oil in place.

When taken together with the Pilot Main, Pilot South and Harbour discoveries, which lie less than twenty kilometres to the North West, there are nearly 500 mmbbls of heavy oil in place in high quality shallow sandstone reservoirs well suited to a steam flood. We envisage developing the Elke and Narwhal fields as part of a wider Western Platform Steam Flood project centred on the Pilot field in Licence P2244 and The Steam Oil Production Company intends to create an integrated development concept to exploit this substantial resources base. Based upon our preliminary thermal reservoir simulation work we expect that we will be able to recover over 250 mmbbls of oil from these fields using a steam flood approach.

We refer to the potential project as the Western Platform Steam Flood and we believe it has the potential to be one of the most significant North Sea developments in the coming decade.