Tuesday 17 September 2019

New PetroNeft CEO sees 'significant' potential in company’s assets

PetroNeft has targeted Russia
PetroNeft has targeted Russia
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

The new CEO of oil and gas explorer PetroNeft, David Sturt, says he sees “very significant potential and value in the company's assets.”

He added that the management of the Russian-focused business will seek to exploit this.

Mr Sturt’s comments come just two weeks after he took up the role of chief executive at the Dublin-listed group.

Acknowledging that the company is facing “some challenges”, he said PetroNeft’s potential has been demonstrated by its recent success at Licence 67 in Russia, which will further increase the group’s reserves.

Earlier this year PetroNeft increased its loan facility with Swedish company Petrogrand to $2.5m (€2.2m) from $2m (€1.75m). The revised terms of the loan include the potential entitlement to bonus payments of $2.5m per licence if either or both Licence 61 or Licence 67, in the Tomsk region of Siberia, are sold before December 31, 2020.

“During 2018 we engaged a financial advisor with the aim to test the market for both of our licences,” Mr Sturt said in a statement today.

“This process is ongoing and I am very pleased with the level of interest and the calibre of companies that we are currently talking to. Over the past twelve months the asset acquisition market in Russia has seen increased activity, especially for the larger domestic companies.  This gives us reason for optimism about a positive outcome,” he added.

PetroNeft was founded in 2004 by Dennis Francis, who retired as the group's CEO in November last year.

Since its establishment it has evolved from an explorer to a production company employing over 170 people in Russia.

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