Monday 23 October 2017

Petroneft denies it's facing a takeover

Thomas Molloy

Thomas Molloy

PETRONEFT, the Irish exploration company that is drilling for oil in Siberia, has denied it is facing a takeover.

Chief financial officer Mark Dowling said in an interview with the Irish Independent this week that he does not know of any potential bidder and the company has not received an approach that has led to any sort of conversation.

"We're a public company so [a bid] is always possible but certainly nobody has come to us," said Mr Dowling.

Two media reports suggested last week that Petroneft was being targeted by larger exploration companies after it successfully began to extract oil from an exploration area the size of Cork and Kerry combined which lies close to the Russian city of Tomsk.

Imperial Energy, a British company that found oil in a field next to Petroneft's oil fields in western Siberia, was snapped up two years ago for £1.4bn (€1.6bn) by India's ONGC Videsh after a bidding war with Sinopec, China's biggest state-owned oil company. ONGC paid £12.50 a share for Imperial which had sold shares for just 25p four years earlier.

Shares in Petroneft have soared almost 150pc since the beginning of the year, giving the company a market value of €200m and making Petroneft the best performer on the Dublin stock exchange.

Petroneft began extracting oil from the ground last month and is on target to extract 4,000 barrels a year, which would be worth €30m at today's prices.

Irish Independent

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