PetroNeft reports licence progress, Aminex signs agreement

Dublin-based exploration firms update investers

Dublin-headquartered oil and gas exploration firm PetroNeft Resources has reported progress at a number of wells it operates in Tomsk Oblast in the Russian Federation.

PetroNeft said total production at Licence 61 currently stands at about 2,450 barrels of oil per day (bopd) now that Tungolskoye No 5 well has gone into production.

The horizontal segment of the Tungolskoye No 5 well has been drilled and completed and development of the Tungolskoye oil field, which is estimated to contain 20 million barrels in two proven reserves, is to proceed immediately.

PetroNeft said contracts are currently being finalised for the 2015/16 Tungolskoye development drilling programme. This is expected to comprise five horizontal and up to six vertical wells. Drilling is expected to commence in April and will be completed iearly next year.


Tenders have also been awarded for the construction of a pipeline and power line to connect the oil field back to the Lineynoye central processing facility with contracts currently being finalised.

The Arbuzovskoye 103 well is now in production at a stablised average rate of 125 bopd, PetroNeft said. It said the Arbuzovskoye 104 well has been drilled with 5.4 metres of net oil pay expected. Production is expected to start shortly at the well.

Meanwhile, the Arbuzovskoye 107 well was spudded earlier this week and is expected to take approximately four week to drill, the company said.

PetroNeft said the drilling rig for the Sibkrayevskoye No 373 well is currently being erected and drilling is to commence later this month.

"We are delighted with the result of the T-5 well, our first horizontal well, which has exceeded our expectations and which bodes extremely well for the development of Tungolskoye where we plan a number of longer horizontal segments in an 11 well campaign," said chief executive Dennis Francis.

Separately, Dublin-listed oil and gas firm Aminex has said it has signed an asset sale agreement with Solo Oil for the first 6.5 per cent interest in the Kiliwani North Development Licence in Tanzania to Solo Oil for $7 million.

The group said formal approval by Tanzanian authorities is still required for the deal to be completed but it expects to receive this shortly.

Aminex announced in October it had reached a binding agreement with Solo to sell up to a 13 per cent interest in the licence. It said in a statement on Tuesday that both companies have agreed to amend the original terms of the agreement to allow Solo the option to purchase an additional 6.5 per cent interest in the licence on the same terms as the first deal.

Solo has acquired the initial 6.5 per cent interest in the licence from Aminex's wholly-owned subsidiary Ndovu Resources for $3.5 million. The second acquisition will consist of an option by Solo to acquire a further 10 per cent of Ndovu's 65 per cent interest in the licence, which is equivalent to 6.5 per cent of the entire licence on the same terms after 30 days have passed.

Aminex has said it will use the net proceeds from the dealto reduce outstanding debt and strengthen its balance sheet.

Aminex and Solo are already partners in the Ruvuma Production Sharing contract in Tanzania, with respectively 75 per cent and 25 per cent interests, where gas was discovered in 2012 at Ntorya-1. Ndovu is the operator of both the Ruvuma Production Sharing Agreement and the Kiliwani North licence.

The licence contains the Kiliwani North 1 well which the partnership expects to produce 20 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) in early 2015.

"As Aminex steps closer to strengthening its balance sheet and towards first gas in Tanzania, the board is pleased with progress particularly given the backdrop of a wider and challenging oil and gas sector," said chief executive Jay Bhattacherjee.

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist