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Press release from CNW Group

Sterling Resources announces commencement of the F17-09 well in the Netherlands

Friday, December 23, 2011

Sterling Resources announces commencement of the F17-09 well in the Netherlands02:00 EST Friday, December 23, 2011CALGARY, Dec. 23, 2011 /CNW/ - Sterling Resources Ltd. (TSX-V:SLG) ("Sterling" or the "Company") on behalf of its wholly owned subsidiary Sterling Resources Netherlands BV, is pleased to announce that today operations commenced on the appraisal well on Block F17a in the Netherlands North Sea.  The jack-up rig Maersk Resolute was put on contract on December 21, 2011 following weather related delays on the previous contract.  Results of the well are expected around the end of January 2012.F17-09 is Sterling's first well in the Netherlands and marks the initiation of the Company's offshore activities since entering the country just over a year ago, having received approval as an operator from the authorities in the post Macondo regulatory environment.F17a is one of five blocks covering 1,550 square kilometers which are located 80 kilometers offshore in a water depth of 45 meters.  The shallow horizons in these blocks contain four oil discoveries, with several wells which tested oil at flow rates of up to 4,800 barrels per day and API gravities in excess of 30 degrees. The accumulation in F17a, which is now being appraised, was originally discovered in 1982 by Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij (NAM) with well F17-03 and was successfully appraised with well F17-07 in 1984, which was also drilled by NAM."We are delighted to start our operations on a field that has the potential to contain commercial quantities of hydrocarbons from a number of structures in close proximity," stated Stephen Birrell, Sterling's Vice President and General Manager Netherlands and France. "This well is intended to define the extent of the oil accumulation discovered 29 years ago. We have already initiated conceptual development design work for an offshore production system should this well and others in the area prove to be successful," added Mr. Birrell.Sterling Resources Netherlands BV as operator, holds a 25 percent interest in the shallow geological horizons of four blocks (F14, F16, F17a, F18) in the F-Quad and L01b in the L-Quad, with Petro Ventures Netherlands B.V. holding 25 percent, Grove Energy Limited (a subsidiary of Enquest PLC) holding 10 percent and Energie Beheer Nederland BV (EBN) holding 40 percent.Sterling Resources Ltd. is a Canadian-listed international oil and gas company headquartered in Calgary, Alberta with assets in the United Kingdom, Romania, France and the Netherlands.  The shares are listed and posted for trading on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol "SLG".Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.Filer Profile No. 00002072Forward-Looking StatementsAll statements included in this press release that address activities, events or developments that Sterling expects, believes or anticipates will or may occur in the future are forward-looking statements. In addition, statements relating to reserves or resources are deemed to be forward-looking statements as they involve the implied assessment, based on certain estimates and assumptions that the reserves and resources described can be profitably produced in the future.These forward-looking statements involve numerous assumptions made by Sterling based on its experience, perception of historical trends, current conditions, expected future developments and other factors it believes are appropriate in the circumstances.  In addition, these statements involve substantial known and unknown risks and uncertainties that contribute to the possibility that the predictions, forecasts, projections and other-forward looking statements will prove inaccurate, certain of which are beyond Sterling's control, including: the impact of general economic conditions in the areas in which Sterling operates, civil unrest, industry conditions, changes in laws and regulations including the adoption of new environmental laws and regulations and changes in how they are interpreted and enforced, increased competition, the lack of availability of qualified personnel or management, fluctuations in commodity prices, foreign exchange or interest rates, stock market volatility and obtaining required approvals of regulatory authorities. In addition there are risks and uncertainties associated with oil and gas operations.  Readers should also carefully consider the matters discussed under the heading "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Information Form.Undue reliance should not be placed on these forward-looking statements, as there can be no assurance that the plans, intentions or expectations upon which they are based will occur.  Sterling's actual results, performance or achievements could differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, these forward-looking statements.  These statements speak only as of the date of the press release. Sterling does not intend and does not assume any obligation to update these forward-looking statements except as required by law.Financial outlook information contained in this press release about prospective results of operations, financial position or cash flows is based on assumptions about future events, including economic conditions and proposed courses of action, based on management's assessment of the relevant information currently available.  Readers are cautioned that such financial outlook information contained in this press release should not be used for purpose other than for which it is disclosed herein.For further information: visit or contact: Mike Azancot, President and Chief Executive Officer, Phone 44-20-3008-8487, Mobile: 44-7740-432883, David Blewden, Chief Financial Officer, Phone: 44-20-3008-8489, Mobile: 44-7771-740804, George Kesteven, Manager, Corporate and Investor Relations, Phone: (403) 215-9265, Mobile: (403) 519-3912,