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Petro River Touts Oil Discovery in California's Kern County

Petro River Oil Corp. said Tuesday it struck oil at its Sunset Boulevard prospect in California's San Joaquin Basin.

The exploration and production company said the CR 47X well in Kern County was drilled to a depth of about  8,500 feet, "confirming at least two commercially successful pay zones." Petro River officials said the latest discovery is being evaluated, but initial results indicate "significant reserve potential."

Development plans are to be issued once the well is completed and production tests are completed. "Several additional prospect wells are now being planned for drilling in Kern County," a spokesman said.

"This is our third discovery in the past 60 days confirming our application of 3-D seismic technology to find overlooked pools of oil in historically prolific fields," said President Stephen Brunner.

The California Independent Producers Association CEO Rock Zierman said the successful well is “a prime example of how a stable energy market can help provide the capital to use technology to find new domestic resources. Increased production in the state is a win for the environment and the economy. The more oil we produce here under the nation’s toughest regulations also results in more affordable energy for consumers, more quality jobs and more tax revenue to fund vital services.”

Petro River owns a 19.25% interest in the Kern County field based on interest and its 20% equity investment in partner Horizon Energy Partners LLC. Since its discovery in 1933, the field has produced more than 100 million boe from six different reservoirs. The California Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources said the state granted a drilling permit in June for the CR 47X well.

With successful exploration wells drilled in Osage County, OK, and in Kern County, Petro River Executive Chairman Scot Cohen, co-founder of hedge fund Iroquois Capital, said the company plans to move forward with "several development programs that have significantly less risk than our exploration wells. We can finally get into our development phase which can add significant daily production and cash flow for our company by the end of this year.”

Petro River and Horizon collectively own a 41.25% working interest in oil and gas leases comprising about 7,000 acres in the San Joaquin Basin. Horizon has a 27.5% working interest and Petro River a 13.75% working interest. Well depths in Kern are 4,000-8,500 feet.

In 2009, Occidental Petroleum Corp. discovered oil and gas reserves in Kern County. The Kern field is geologically complex with a dearth of modern seismic data, according to Petro River.

"It is expected by acquiring a 30 square mile, state-of-the-art, modern 3-D seismic survey over the field, that numerous undrilled opportunities will be revealed resulting in the discovery and production, through primary recovery alone, of 30 million bbls o

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