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Infrastrata Offered Petroleum Exploration Licence

Source: 11/19/2010, Location: Europe

The Directors of InfraStrata plc, the independent gas storage and infrastructure specialist are pleased to announce that the Company has been offered a petroleum exploration licence over the central part of the Larne-Lough Neagh Basin in Northern Ireland. The offer is in response to an application made to the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI) in Northern Ireland in August 2010. The Company expects that DETI should be in a position to issue the licence in the New Year after it has completed the drafting of the terms and conditions of the licence, taking into account the outcome of its consultation with other Departments and agencies. The initial licence term will be five years with a decision on drilling a well required within two years. InfraStrata is the operator of the licence with a 50% interest.

The licence covers an area of 663 square kilometres, and the existing Islandmagee gas storage project is located within the boundary.

The Larne-Lough Neagh Basin contains reservoir targets within the Carboniferous, Permian and Triassic sequences. The basin is relatively under-explored as it is covered by Tertiary basalts of up to 600 metres thick. The Company believes the area holds significant untapped potential and the recent developments in seismic acquisition and processing techniques developed for exploration below thick basalt sequences West of Shetland, and elsewhere, should enable effective exploration in Northern Ireland.

Commenting on the licence, Andrew Hindle, CEO of Infrastrata said:
“We are excited by the prospect of this award in Northern Ireland, which would extend our existing activities in the region. During 2010, we took the decision to focus our resources on the UK gas market, and to enhance our existing gas storage business within our two core areas. This includes conventional and unconventional petroleum exploration, where we can use our existing geological and geophysical knowledge and databases to leverage initial funding for the projects. The news demonstrates this commitment and we see an excellent strategic fit between gas production and storage in close proximity to each other.

Seismic data would be acquired during 2011 and it is hoped that interpretation of this data will lead to an exploration well being drilled within two years. Ideally such a well could form part of a programme to include drilling for the Islandmagee gas storage project, where we hold a 65% interest, subject to the granting of planning permission for that project.

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