Northern Petroleum (AIM: NOP), the AIM quoted oil and gas company focusing on production led growth balanced with high impact exploration and appraisal opportunities, announces that Shell Italia E&P S.p.A ("Shell") has initiated a local engagement programme in relation to the Cascina Alberto permit, onshore northern Italy.
The programme is being undertaken in advance of the submission of an Environmental Impact Assessment ("EIA") necessary to conduct a geophysical survey. The programme includes up to 200 meetings with local authorities, communities and stakeholders to gather information and opinion to assist with the EIA submission. Field work for the seismic survey is expected to begin in 2018 following approval of the EIA. Northern Petroleum owns a 20 per cent. non-operated working interest and is carried for the seismic acquisition up to a gross cost of US$4 million.
Keith Bush, Chief Executive Officer of Northern Petroleum, commented:
"Shell have demonstrated great commitment in progressing this exploration opportunity, even during the recent industry downturn. The views of local stakeholders are important when planning any type of operational work and we support Shell's inclusive approach during the EIA process.
"Cascina Alberto represents an important part of the Company's strategy of creating three to four company changing events over the next few years, something that will enhance the value of the sustainable production growth in Canada."
The Cascina Alberto licence
The Cascina Alberto exploration permit covers an area of 462 square kilometres across the Piedmont and Lombardy regions.
The area was held in the late 1990s by ENI and was the subject of a farm-in by Enterprise Oil in 2000. The exploration focus was on a prospect which ENI had interpreted as holding 300 million barrels of prospective resource. The structure of the prospect was believed to be similar to the nearby Villafortuna-Trecate field, located 25 kilometres to the south east and one of the largest onshore oil fields discovered in western Europe, having produced in excess of 210 million barrels of oil to date.
Northern Petroleum was awarded the permit in July 2014 and, after being approached by Shell, completed the farm out in early 2015. Shell acquired 80 per cent. of the permit and operatorship for a cash consideration of US$850,000, a carry for seismic acquisition of up to US$4 million gross cost, a carry on an exploration well of up to US$50 million gross cost and a carry on all ongoing general and administrative costs.