RNS Releases
12 May 2008 - Strategic Partner joins the Larne project PDF Print E-mail

The Directors of Portland Gas plc (AIM: PTG) (“the Company” or “Portland Gas”) are pleased to announce that its Northern Ireland subsidiary Portland Gas NI Limited has agreed Heads of Terms with Moyle Energy Investments Limited, a subsidiary of Northern Ireland Energy Holdings Limited (“NIEH”), operator of the Scotland to Northern Ireland Pipeline (SNIP), for NIEH to participate in the Larne Lough gas storage project. Under the terms of the agreement NIEH have an option, following completion of a due diligence process and consultation with their stakeholders, to become a joint venture partner taking a 35% equity interest in the Larne Lough project and paying their share of the development costs.

Commenting on the project Andrew Hindle, CEO of Portland Gas plc, said:

“NIEH have been assisting Portland Gas for over a year and their involvement is integral to the success of this strategically important project. They own the gas infrastructure into which the Larne Lough gas storage project would be connected. With their long-term approach and intimate understanding of local customer, regulatory and government needs, the mutual energy infrastructure company is an ideal partner for Portland Gas NI Limited.”

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8 May 2008 - Director Shareholdings PDF Print E-mail

Portland Gas plc (the "Company") was informed today that the wife of Mr Walter Roberts, a Director of Portland Gas plc, has today transferred to him 320,000 ordinary shares by way of gift.

Mr Roberts' total beneficial shareholding in Portland Gas remains unchanged at 1,026,750 ordinary shares, representing 1.514% of the issued and voting share capital of the Company.

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24 April 2008 - Portland Project – Timing of planning committee meeting PDF Print E-mail

Portland Gas plc has been informed by Dorset County Council (“DCC”) that the intention is for the planning committee to consider the planning applications for the proposed gas storage scheme, submitted to DCC by wholly owned subsidiary Portland Gas Storage Limited, at the next meeting of the committee on 16th May 2008. The Company also anticipates that an application for Hazardous Substances Consent for the proposed Portland gas storage site will be considered at the same meeting.

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03 April 2008 - Director Shareholdings PDF Print E-mail

Portland Gas plc (the “Company”) was informed today that Mr Walter Roberts, a Director, has transferred to his wife 320,000 ordinary shares at 314.75p each.

Simultaneously, Mr Roberts’ two daughters have each sold to a Will Trust that Mr Roberts administers for them 50,000 ordinary shares also at 314.75p each. All of these transfers are part of a reorganisation of his share holding.

Mr Roberts’ total beneficial shareholding in Portland Gas remains unchanged at 1,026,750 ordinary shares, representing 1.514% of the issued and voting share capital of the Company.

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31 March 2008 - Results of the 3D seismic survey Larne project PDF Print E-mail

The Directors of Portland Gas plc (AIM: PTG) (“the Company” or “Portland Gas”) are pleased to announce the results of the 3D seismic programme acquired during October and November 2007 by its wholly owned Northern Ireland subsidiary Portland Gas NI Limited.

The interpretation of the data has indicated that the Permian salt sequence encountered in 1981 in the Larne-2 borehole extends as anticipated under Larne Lough into the area where Portland Gas was granted an exploration licence in 2007 by The Crown Estate. Interpretation of the seismic data indicates that the salt in the target area is at a depth of approximately 1400 metres with a thickness of approximately 200 meters. Portland Gas is now planning to drill a borehole later in 2008 on Islandmagee to confirm the seismic interpretation and to take cores of the salt sequence to complete the design of the caverns to store natural gas. The Company is seeking a suitable site from which to drill the borehole within the area of its onshore mineral licence, awarded in 2007 near Ballylumford by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment.

The Company is also negotiating terms with a strategic partner to take a 25-35% interest in the project. Portland Gas will be the operator of the proposed joint venture.

Portland Gas is now undertaking an Environmental Impact Assessment with the intention of submitting a full planning application for the gas storage project in 2009, subject to concluding any necessary landowner agreements. The Company will liaise closely during 2008 with all stakeholders to ensure that the surface facilities, required to create the caverns and compress the gas into store, are located in the most appropriate place and designed to minimise visual and environmental impact. The caverns would be created within the salt sequence below Larne Lough but accessed from directionally drilled boreholes on the land. The nearest point of connection to the national gas infrastructure is at the Scotland to Northern Ireland Pipeline above ground installation at Ballylumford.

Network, market, technical and economic analyses are also underway to determine the most appropriate storage capacity and the gas injection and withdrawal rates for the facility. Initial studies indicate that the facility could have a storage volume of up to 500 million cubic metres (18 billion cubic feet) of gas. In this case some reinforcement of the current gas infrastructure will be required to manage the injection and withdrawal of gas and provide sufficient flexibility to meet demand spikes for customers.

Portland Gas would ensure that the capacity availability is Third Party Access compliant under Northern Ireland and European legislation. It is anticipated that a proportion of the capacity in the facility would be made available under long-term contracts to facilitate the debt financing of the project, however the majority would be auctioned on an annual basis. Customers could be based in Northern Ireland, the remainder of the UK or the Republic of Ireland.

Commenting on the project Andrew Hindle, the CEO of Portland Gas plc, said: “We are delighted with the results of the seismic programme. The asset would have a significant positive impact on the dynamics of the gas market in the whole of Ireland and add significantly to security of gas supplies. Indeed, in winter, Northern Ireland could become a net exporter of gas from its current position of 100% dependence on imports.”

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