Serica Energy plc ("Serica" or the "Company") - Biliton operations update

    LONDON, Dec. 31 /CNW/ - Serica Energy plc (AIM & TSX-V: SQZ) announces
that the GSF 136 drilling rig, on location in the Biliton Block in the Java
Sea, Indonesia, has completed operations on the Batara Ismaya prospect, the
first prospect to be drilled in a planned two well programme in the Biliton
PSC, and is preparing to move to drill the second well of the programme on the
separate Batara Indra prospect.
    The first well, Batara Ismaya No. 1, was drilled to a total depth of
3,392 feet and encountered a sequence of tertiary sandstones between 2,484 and
3,192 feet. The total net reservoir sand thickness in this interval was
approximately 325 feet, twice as much as predicted prior to drilling, and the
average porosity was approximately 35%. Although these sands did not contain
hydrocarbons, this evidence of improved reservoir thickness may increase the
potential of other prospects in the Biliton Block. The lack of hydrocarbons at
Batara Ismaya may be due to failure of the anticipated stratigraphic trapping
mechanism or to a barrier to the migration of hydrocarbons from the source
rocks that lie to the west of the well.
    The rig will shortly move approximately 24 kilometres to the south-east
to drill the second well in the programme, Batara Indra North No. 1, on a
separate four-way dip closed structure located in an area in which seabed oil
seeps were detected in a survey carried out in 1999.
    Serica has a 45% interest in the Biliton PSC and is the operator. The
majority of the cost of these two wells is being carried by a farminee.
    Paul Ellis, Serica Chief Executive Officer said: "Whilst the first well
in the Biliton programme has not encountered hydrocarbons, we are encouraged
by the thickness and quality of the reservoir sands discovered in the well.
The Biliton Block covers a very large area with a number of significant and
separate prospects identified on seismic and will require several wells to
explore fully. The evidence of seabed oil seeps at the next prospect to be
drilled, Batara Indra, is an encouraging sign that hydrocarbons may have
migrated into this area."

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    %SEDAR: 00022686E

For further information:

For further information: Enquiries: Serica Energy plc: Paul Ellis, Chief
Executive Officer,, +44 (0)20 7487 7300; Chris
Hearne, Finance Director,, +44 (0)20 7487 7300;
JPMorgan Cazenove: Steve Baldwin,, +44
(0)20 7588 2828; Tristone Capital Limited: Majid Shafiq,, +44 (0)20 7355 5872; Pelham Public Relations -
UK: James Henderson,, +44 (0)20 7743 6673;
Alisdair Haythornthwaite,, +44 (0)20
7743 6676; CHF - Canada: Sarah Gingerich,, (416) 868-1079

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