Ascent Resources (LON:AST), the AIM-traded oil and gas exploration and production company, has received an independent report corroborating the highly prospective nature of the Peti?ovci-Lovaszi project area in Slovenia and Hungary, with P50 estimates of gas in place of 412 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of gas. The report from international oil and gas reserve assessor RPS Energy, also declared the corresponding P90 and P10 estimates are 200 Bcf and 834 Bcf with a mean of 478 Bcf.

The Peti?ovci/Lovaszi project area covers some 200 sq km and straddles the Hungarian-Slovenian border. Ascent believes the project, with its high levels of recoverable gas, has the potential to be the largest asset in its portfolio and believes this to be a unique project for onshore Europe, due to its scale and risk reward profile. Importantly for development, the area is serviced by excellent infrastructure and has existing gas pipeline connections and the regional gas price is strong, with a current price of $9.00 per Mscf being achieved in Hungary.

During the last year Ascent has acquired 3D seismic surveys that cover the entire area. The data has been processed and interpreted and the resulting structural interpretation of the main targets is significantly different from the previous geological model. The structures have two sets of reservoirs, the shallower Pontian and the deeper Miocene, The Miocene reservoirs are Ascent's development objective as the shallow reservoirs were extensively developed during the 1960's and are considered to be almost fully depleted.

The RPS report considers mainly the Miocene reservoirs that contain gas in low permeability sandstones found at a moderate depth of between 2,000 m and 3,000 m. Some previous production was initiated from these tight gas reservoirs in the 1960's both in Hungary and in Slovenia however total production was less than 10 Bcf. Tight gas is considered as the first category of unconventional resources that also includes shale gas, shale oil and coalbed methane.

The Pg-11 well, the first well in the Slovenian part of the project, is ready to drill with commencement targeted in November 2010. This well has a number of important objectives and the evaluation programme, which includes core sampling and state-of-the-art wireline logging, is designed to collect sufficient data for stimulation design, as well as calibration of the 3D seismic…

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