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March 30, 2006 --- Vol. 12, No. 20March 2006

Aurora Gas and Swift Energy form joint venture for the Cook Inlet

Aurora Gas LLC and Swift Energy Co. announced today that they have entered into a joint venture to explore for oil and gas on Aurora’s acreage in Alaska’s Cook Inlet region. The first activity of the new partnership will be the drilling of the Endeavour No. 1 wildcat oil well near Anchor Point in the southern Kenai Peninsula. Swift Energy now has a 50 percent working interest in the Endeavour well, which Aurora has told Petroleum News could spud as soon as next week.

In addition to the Endeavour drilling the companies plan to work in partnership across the whole of the Cook Inlet basin, where Aurora says that it has about 140,000 acres under lease. According to a Swift Energy press release “Swift Energy will earn an average working interest of 37.5 percent in approximately 54,500 gross acres in seven areas of mutual interest, which represents half of Aurora Gas LLC’s working interest in the areas of mutual interest.”

“This may very well be the most significant development of the decade in Cook Inlet oil exploration,” said Aurora Vice President of Exploration Andy Clifford. “Swift Energy ranks among the top U.S. independents and is a highly successful oil and gas E&P company. They will be a very welcome addition to the current cast of players in the Cook Inlet basin.”

Houston, Texas-based Swift Energy is a publicly traded oil and gas company with a 26-year history and interests in Louisiana, Texas and New Zealand.

“This new venture in the onshore Cook Inlet Basin in Alaska fits perfectly with Swift Energy’s stated strategy of looking for under-explored areas with large acreage positions and significant reserves potential in a prolific producing basin with multiple productive horizons,” said Bruce Vincent, president of Swift Energy. “We look forward to working with Aurora Gas, an experienced operator in the Cook Inlet, establishing a successful partnership and expanding upon their successes to date.”

Editor’s note: Watch for the full story in the April 2 edition of Petroleum News.

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