Netherland, Sewell & Associates (“NSA”) has finalized the results of its estimate of contingent and prospective resources associated with fields and prospects situated within the Shallow Fields Production Unit as of July 1, 2010 in accordance with standards established by the Society of Petroleum Engineers. Full tables from the report can be found at the end of this release, and the entire report can be accessed at www.fronteraresources.com. Highlights of the report include the following:
Mirzaani, Mtsare Khevi, Nazarlebi and Patara Shiraki Fields*: “Best Estimate” for gross (100 percent) original oil-in-place of 626.2 million barrels, with a “low”-to-“high” range of 397.4–991.9 million barrels; and “Best Estimate” for associated recoverable gross contingent and unrisked prospective oil resources of 52.1 million barrels, with a “low”-to-“high” range of 24.9-101.3 million barrels. (*Includes Mirzaani Northwest Extension and Mtsare Khevi Prospects.)
Kakabeti, Lambalo, Mkralihevi, Mlashiskhevi-Oleskhevi and Tsitsmatiani Prospects: “Best Estimate” for gross (100 percent) original oil-in-place of 91.9 million barrels, with a “low”-to-“high” range of 57.7–147.7 million barrels; and “Best Estimate” for associated recoverable unrisked prospective oil resources of 8.7 million barrels, with a “low”-to-“high” range of 4.8–16.2 million barrels.
Mtsare Khevi Field**: “Best Estimate” for gross (100 percent) original gas-in-place of 2.6 billion cubic feet, with a “low”-to-“high” range of 2.1–3.1 billion cubic feet; and “Best Estimate” for associated gross contingent and unrisked prospective resources of 1.5 billion cubic feet, with “low”-to-“high” range of 1.2-1.9 billion cubic feet. (**Includes Mtsare Khevi Prospect.)
Shallow Fields Production Unit
Frontera’s Shallow Fields Production Unit is located in the central portion of Block 12 and represents what the Company believes to be an extensive trend of low-cost, low-risk oil and gas resources. Containing the Mirzaani Field, Mtsare Khevi Field, Nazarlebi Field, and Patara Shiraki Field, these assets represent discovered yet undeveloped or underdeveloped fields that have additional associated exploitation potential. In addition, this unit contains an inventory of look-alike prospects known as the Kakabeti, Lambalo, Mkralihevi, Mlashiskhevi-Oleskhevi and Tsitsmatiani prospects. Each of these prospects contains Soviet-era wells that demonstrated hydrocarbon shows while drilling but were never placed on production or adequately appraised. Objectives are considered to be traditional, well-known reservoirs of Pliocene and Miocene age that are situated at depths from 10 meters to 1,500 meters.
Schlumberger has been contracted to provide services for a multi-zone frac completion at the #5 well. Frac operations have now commenced and are on-schedule to be completed in late September 2010.
Investments made within the past year have resulted in the discovery and confirmation of large undeveloped or underdeveloped portions of the field. In addition, operations resulted in the acquisition of important new technical information related to the reservoirs associated with the large undeveloped area of the Mirzaani Field. While it was not originally expected that frac completions would be necessary to bring the field into commercial production, analysis indicates that fracing is the key to maximizing production rates and enhancing the economic value of the field. In this context, small-scale, internally designed test fracs were successfully applied to two of the three wells to further validate this premise ahead of contracting Schlumberger to apply conventional large-scale fracs.
Discovered in 1932, the Mirzaani Field has historically produced approximately 7 million barrels of oil, but contains extensive undeveloped and underdeveloped areas. The Mirzaani #1, #2 and #5 wells are the newest wells to be drilled in the field since the Soviet-era. In 2006, Frontera acquired approximately 100 kilometers of new 2D seismic data over the field area as part of an effort to re-map and identify new potential associated with the field.
The new independent assessment by NSA places a “Best Estimate” for gross original oil-in-place for the Mirzaani Field and Mirzaani Northwest Extension of 541.7 million barrels, with a “low”-to-“high” range of 343.8–857.3 million barrels; and a “Best Estimate” for associated recoverable gross contingent and unrisked prospective oil resources of 43.8 million barrels, with a “low”-to-“high” range of 20.5–86.1 million barrels. This assessment is consistent with Frontera’s internal estimates.
Evaluation and production testing have continued at the Mirzaani Field, focusing on preparation for future frac completions at the Mirzaani #1, Mirzaani #2 and Mirzaani #5 wells. Frontera’s analysis has continued to underscore the potential commerciality that can be achieved from frac completions of wells within the underdeveloped portions of the field. The first frac completion is expected in late September on the Mirzaani #5 well.
Mtsare Khevi Field
The Mtsare Khevi Field is located in the western portion of Block 12 with multiple objective reservoirs situated at depths between 200 meters and 1,100 meters. The field was discovered, nominally produced and partially delineated with multiple exploration wells from 1989 to 1994, but never developed. After completing a field study in 2007, Frontera designed a plan to bring the shallow reservoirs from the Akchagil formation into production.
The new independent assessment by NSA places a “Best Estimate” for gross original oil-in-place for the Mtsare Khevi Field of 14.9 million barrels, with a “low”-to-“high” range of 11.3–19.7 million barrels; and a “Best Estimate” for associated recoverable gross contingent and unrisked prospective oil resources of 2.1 million barrels, with a “low”-to-“high” range of 1.4-3.2 million barrels. This assessment is generally consistent with Frontera’s internal estimates for the Akchagil formation.
For gas, NSA places a “Best Estimate” for gross original gas-in-place for the Mtsare Khevi Field of 2.6 billion cubic feet, with a “low”-to-“high” range of 2.1–3.1 billion cubic feet; and a “Best Estimate” for associated gross contingent and unrisked prospective resources of 1.5 billion cubic feet, with “low”-to-“high” range of 1.2-1.9 billion cubic feet. Frontera’s internal estimates reflect additional resource potential along the northwest trend of the fault block, which NSA was not asked to evaluate.
Steve C. Nicandros, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented:
“Netherland, Sewell & Associates’ recent assessment of the potential associated with our Shallow Fields Production Unit represents a new and important validation of the significant value that our historical investment programs have uncovered to date. We look forward to updating the reserves category of resources associated with the Mirzaani Field and Mtsare Khevi Field as new operations progress and as production increases from the Shallow Fields Production Unit.”
Extracts from Report of Netherland, Sewell & Associates
Estimated gross (100 percent) original oil-in-place (OOIP) and contingent oil resources for the Mirzaani, Mtsare Khevi, Nazarlebi, and Patara Shiraki fields:
* Contingent oil resources exclude cumulative oil production.
Estimated gross (100 percent) original gas-in-place (OGIP) and contingent resources for the Mtsare Khevi Field:
Estimated gross (100 percent) undiscovered OOIP and prospective oil resources for the Kakabeti, Lambalo, Mkralikhevi, Mlashiskhevi-Oleskhevi, Mtsare Khevi, Mirzaani Northwest Extension, and Tsitsmatiani prospects:
** Volumes include only those quantities located within the Block 12 concession boundary.
Estimated gross (100 percent) undiscovered OGIP and prospective gas resources for the Mtsare Khevi Prospect:
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Notes to editors:
1. Frontera Resources Corporation is an independent Houston, Texas, U.S.A.-based international oil and gas exploration and production company whose strategy is to identify opportunities and operate in emerging markets around the world. Frontera has operated in Georgia since 1997 where it holds a 100 percent working interest in a production sharing agreement with the government of Georgia. This gives Frontera the exclusive right to explore for, develop and produce oil and gas from a 5,060 square kilometer area in eastern Georgia known as Block 12. Frontera Resources Corporation shares are traded on the London Stock Exchange, AIM Market – Symbol: FRR and via the Over-the-Counter Market, U.S.A. – OTCQX Symbol: FRTE. For more information, please visit www.fronteraresources.com. For more information regarding Frontera’s work at the Shallow Fields Production Unit, please visit: www.fronteraresources.com/Operations.php?link_id=43.
2. Information on Resource Estimates: The contingent and prospective resources estimates contained in this announcement were determined by the independent consulting firm of Netherland, Sewell & Associates (NSA) in accordance with the definitions and guidelines set forth in the 2007 Petroleum Resources Management System (PRMS) adopted by the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE). Contingent resources are those quantities of petroleum which are estimated, as of a given date, to be potentially recoverable from known accumulations but for which the applied project(s) are not yet considered mature enough for commercial development due to one or more contingencies. Contingent resources estimates in this announcement are for Mirzaani, Mtsarekhevi, Nazarlebi and Patara Shiraki Fields and are contingent solely upon demonstration of the economic viability of the project and an approved development program. If this issue is resolved, some portion of the contingent resources may be reclassified as reserves. Prospective resources are those quantities of petroleum estimated, as of a given date, to be potentially recoverable from undiscovered accumulations by application of future development projects. Prospective resources estimates in this announcement are for Kakabeti, Lambalo, Mkralikhevi, Mlashiskhevi-Oleskhevi, Mtsarekhevi, Mirzaani Northwest Extension and Tsitsmatiani Prospects. The PRMS defines a prospect as a project associated with a potential accumulation that is sufficiently well defined to represent a viable drilling target.
The full report of Netherland, Sewell & Associates is available at www.fronteraresources.com. NSA’s report did not include risked estimates for contingent resources (which is an estimate of commercial risk) or a calculation of net attributable interest to the Company, as provided in AIM’s 2009 Guidance Note for Mining and Oil & Gas Companies. The Company’s net working interest in the Block 12 license is 100 percent.
3. This release may contain certain forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, expectations, beliefs, plans and objectives regarding the operations schedule, oil and gas resource estimates and other matters discussed in this release. Exploration for oil is a speculative business that involves a high degree of risk. Among the important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements are: risks inherent in oil and gas production operations; availability and performance of needed equipment and personnel; the Company’s ability to raise capital to fund its exploration and development programs; seismic data; evaluation of logs, cores and other data from wells drilled; inherent uncertainty in estimation of oil and gas resources; fluctuations in oil and gas prices; weather conditions; general economic conditions; the political situation in Georgia and relations with neighboring countries; and other factors listed in Frontera’s financial reports, which are available at www.fronteraresources.com/Investors.php?link_id=23. There is no assurance that Frontera’s expectations will be realized, and actual results may differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements.