'For Sale' Irish oil firm sees drop in annual production

'For Sale' Irish oil firm sees drop in annual production

Production levels at one of the flagship assets being firmed up for a potential sale by Irish exploration company PetroNeft Resources decreased last year, new figures show.

The Licence 61 asset in the Siberian region of Russia produced 713,603 barrels of oil in 2018 - equating to an average of 1,955 barrels per day.

PetroNeft owns 50% of that licence and 50% of the neighbouring Licence 67 asset.

The Dublin-based company said while the production levels were down, they were ahead of expectations.

"The existing production wells at Licence 61 generally performed well during 2018, with a slower-than-expected natural decline," PetroNeft said.

The company's newly-published annual results show it made a loss of $7.56m (€6.7m) last year, a whopping 134% jump on 2017's loss.

Last month, PetroNeft's new chief executive David Sturt said the company is likely to be sold within the next two or three years.

He said interest has been shown in PetroNeft's stakes in both licence areas, but that ahead of any sale the company's goal will be to significantly enhance the value of the licences.

However, in its results presentation, PetroNeft noted: "The geo-political and investment climate in Russia, as with other emerging markets, remains challenging.

"This has resulted in a significant difference between the market capitalisation of the company and the long-term value of its assets and reserves."

"We are committed to narrowing that gap and are actively examining all available options to do so," the company said.

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