Sterling updates Black Sea activity

Map of Sterling Resources' Romanian Black Sea acreageUK-based Sterling Resources completed 800sq km of new 3D seismic in the Romanian Black Sea.

The company's 1Q result, issued yesterday, discusses three major milestones in derisking its Romanian assets:

- In early February, Sterling received the proceeds from selling the deeper water portion of the Midia Block, net US$25 million. Sterling retains Media Shallow with 65% equity interest. The Midia Shallow block includes the Ana and Doina discoveries, the Ioana prospect, and several other prospects.

- Sterling negotiated extensions to May 2015 for the license periods of Midia Shallow and Pelican blocks with the Romanian National Agency for Mineral Resources. Two further extension options are available, to May 2018 and May 2020.

- The 3D seismic acquisition program over key parts of the Midia Shallow and Pelican blocks was completed during 1Q, comprising about 500sq km over the Ana-Doina trend, and 100sq km over each: the Bianca prospect, Ioana prospect, and Eugenia discovery. Sterling expects to complete processing and interpretation of this 3D seismic during 3Q.

In mid-2014, Sterling will begin a sell-down process to reduce its equity interests in its Black Sea blocks to about half of the current levels by introducing a new partner. Sterling's equity interests include: Midia Shallow and Pelican blocks (currently 65%), Luceafarul block (currently 50%), and Muridava block (currently 40%). The company hopes to complete the process by the end of 2014.

Subject to negotiations with a new partner, Sterling anticipates first production from the Ana and Doina fields in the Midia block in 2019.

Sterling holds a 40% interest in the Muridava-1 well in Block EX-27, which Petroceltic International plc (operator, 40%) spudded on 11 April and which will require about two months to complete. Petromar Resources SA controls the remaining 20% interest.

The Muridava-1 well is on the same geological trend as the existing Olimpiyskaya and Eugenia gas discoveries and is targeting gross mean unrisked prospective resource of 185 BCF from the Eocene, Paleocene and Upper Cretaceous intervals.

Petroceltic has indicated that the other two commitment wells for the block are postponed to 2015.

Read more:

Romania well non-commercial says Petroceltic, 14 November 2013

Romanian exploration campaign starts, 2 September 2013

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