Antrim, an international oil and gas exploration and production company headquartered in Calgary, Canada, today announced that it has been informed by operator TAQA Bratani Limited (“TAQA”) that drilling operations have commenced for the Contender prospect in UK Northern North Sea Block 211/22a Contender Area (the “Contender Block”).

The well, which is being drilled from the TAQA-operated Cormorant North production platform, will target the Jurassic Brent sequence of sandstones at a projected drilling depth of 16,900 feet, east of the North Cormorant Field.

Under the terms of a farmout agreement (as previously announced on August 25 2011), TAQA earned a 60% interest and operatorship in the block by committing to pay 100% of the drilling cost and 100% of the cost to complete the well, with this latter cost to be recovered from production revenue. Should the Contender prospect be developed, production will be processed through the Cormorant North platform.

On execution of the farmout agreement, Antrim’s current interest in the Contender Block was reduced from 21% to 8.4%. Upon successful drilling of the Contender well, TAQA will also earn a 35% interest in the adjacent block 211/22a Kerloch area (the “Kerloch Block”), with Antrim retaining a 13.65% interest. The Kerloch Block contains the discovery well 211/22a-10 drilled by Antrim and partners in 2007, which intersected an oil column of approximately 116 feet in the Ness Formation with oil gravity of approximately 32 degrees API. The well was not flow tested, but suspended to allow potential re-entry and future use.

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