UK-based energy company Northern Petroleum has acquired the onshore production and development gas assets in Italy from Rockhopper Exploration’s subsidiary Rockhopper Mediterranean.

The acquisition includes stake in the Aglavizza production concession, which contains the producing Civita gas field and associated processing facilities and pipeline (Civita), a local operations base, production concessions, containing suspended wells, and an exploration permit. 

The production concessions include Scanzano Concession (100% interest), Torrente Celone Concession (50% interest), Monte Verdese Concession (60% interest), San Basile Concession (85% interest), Civita Permit (100% interest).

At the Civita site, which is tied to the national gas network, the average gas production is about 130 barrels of oil equivalent per day, last year. The field is expected to contain about 1 billion cubic feet (bcf) of recoverable gas, as per the company’s internal estimates.

Northern Petroleum is also reviewing the potential to redevelop Cupoloni field in the Scanzano Concession and the further potential of the subsurface of Vigna Nocelli field in the Torrente Celone concession.

The company stated it will assume the abandonment liabilities of the production concessions, which are estimated to be approximately, excluding Aglavizza and the two fields with redevelopment potential.  

After the acquisition is completed, Rockhopper will pay Northern Petroleum $1.6m and it is subject to inter alia Italian regulatory approval and is expected to occur later in the year. The acquisition has an economic effective date of 1 January 2017.

Northern Petroleum CEO Keith Bush said: “This acquisition is the Company’s first step into the valuable gas production market in Italy and complements our oil production in Canada. The deal is directly in line with our production led growth stategy, allows us to utilise our Italian tax position efficiently and demonstrates our ability to continue to grow production at little or no cost.

“We consider Italy to have further acquisition opportunities for growth and will continue to evaluate additional assets to supplement those acquired today, as we look to build an Italian production and development business.”