Northern Petroleum Plc
LSE : NOP

October 06, 2009 05:45 ET

Northern and Shell to proceed with Italian joint exploration programme

For release: 6th October 2009
                                                          
                                               Northern Petroleum Plc
                                                          
                                            ("Northern" or "the Company")
                                                          
                       NORTHERN AND SHELL TO PROCEED WITH ITALIAN JOINT EXPLORATION PROGRAMME
                                                          
Northern announces that together with Shell Italia E&P S.p.A. ("Shell") it will be acquiring a 3D seismic survey  in
their  joint exploration area offshore Sicily. Shell will fund the prospect defining programme in the joint  venture
held  thrust  belt offshore of western Sicily. The joint venture currently covers six offshore licences -  G.R17.NP,
G.R18.NP, G.R19.NP, G.R20.NP, G.R21.NP and G.R22.NP covering a total area of 4350 km² in which a 2300 km 2D  seismic
survey was recorded earlier this year.

Under the terms of the farm-out agreement ("Agreement"), Shell hold 55% in G.R17.NP, G.R18.NP and G.R19.NP; and  70%
in  G.R20.NP, G.R21.NP and G.R22.NP. Northern will continue as the operator during the seismic phase and Shell  will
assume operatorship for the drilling phase.

Commenting  on  the programme Derek Musgrove, Managing Director, Northern, said "This progresses  one  of  the  most
exciting  areas  for  exploration and material growth for Northern as well as significantly  increased  expenditure.
Shell  brings  to  this  venture experience of exploration and production in the southern Italy  part  of  the  same
Apennine-Mahgrebian  Thrust Belt where the major oil fields of Val d'Agri and Tempa Rossa have been  developed.  The
venture  can  also call upon their international major project and offshore expertise. If drilling is successful  it
could open up a whole new Western European and North African hydrocarbon province."

In  accordance with the AIM Rules - Guidance for Mining and Oil & Gas Companies, the information contained  in  this
announcement  has been reviewed and signed off by the Exploration and Technical Director of Northern Petroleum  Plc,
Mr Graham Heard CGeol FGS, who has over 35 years experience as a petroleum geologist.


                                                     ---ENDS---
                                                          

For further information please contact:

Northern Petroleum Plc                                      Tel: +44 (0) 20 7469 2900
Derek Musgrove, Managing Director
Chris Foss, Finance Director
Graham Heard, Exploration & Technical Director
Sophie Hull, Head of Corporate Communications

Jefferies International                                     Tel: +44 (0) 20 7029 8000
Chris Snoxall / Schuyler Evans

Astaire Securities                                          Tel: +44 (0) 20 7448 4400
Jerry Keen / Toby Gibbs

Bishopsgate Communications (Press)                          Tel: +44 (0) 20 7562 3350
Nick Rome / Michael Kinirons

Buchanan Communications (Analysts)                          Tel: +44 (0) 20 7466 5000
Tim Thompson / Ben Romney


Notes to Editors:

Northern  is  an  AIM quoted oil and gas production, development, exploration and asset trading company  focused  on
petroleum  producing  areas  of  low political risk in Europe. The Company strategy is  to  obtain  significant  and
concentrated  licence positions then add value at reasonable risk utilising new ideas together  with  new  drilling,
seismic, completion, field development and computer technologies to establish economic oil and gas production.

The  Company's activities are concentrated in three countries (Netherlands, Italy and England) with the risk  spread
over more than 50 projects in 12 petroleum systems.  Following the recent acquisition of ATI Oil Plc, Northern holds
over  103  million  barrels  of reported Proven & Probable Reserves. It has interests in 4  producing  fields,  both
onshore and offshore, one of which it manages.

The  development of six onshore oil and gas fields is being progressed in The Netherlands under Northern  management
Northern Petroleum Nederland B.V. with Dyas B.V., EBN, the Netherlands' state oil company, and NAM.

Northern  currently manages the largest licensed exploration area in Italy, over 15,000km², predominantly  offshore,
but includes six onshore permits in the Po Valley gas and oil province in the north of the country.
UK  production comes from a 10% interest in the Horndean oil field and a 5% interest in the Avington oil field, both
in  West  Sussex and Hampshire respectively. It also has planning consents to drill in the near future  an  eastward
extension  of  the  Horndean  oil field and an exploration well at Havant. Northern has  a  50%  interest  in  these
ventures.

For further information on Northern visit www.northpet.com.


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