Irish exploration company PetroNeft Resources looking to sell-up

The new chief executive of Irish exploration company PetroNeft Resources has said the company will likely be sold within the next two-to-three years.

The goal of the company, in the intervening period, will be to significantly enhance the value of its existing licences.

PetroNeft, whose focus is two licences in Siberia, recently said it was looking at "all options" - including the sale of its assets and the possible acquisition of new licences - in a bid to return value to its shareholders.

PetroNeft owns a 50% stake in each of the licences in Tomsk and approximately 50% of its shares are owned by retail investors.

Industry veteran David Sturt - who was recently named PetroNeft's chief executive - said interest has been shown in the two Tomsk-based licences.

Mr Sturt's chief focus will be to build and realise shareholder value. To that end, PetroNeft is looking to further boost production at its two licences - Licence 61 and Licence 67 - in a cost-effective manner through improved fracking techniques, water flooding optimisation and improved infrastructure.

Licence 61 is already producing, Mr Sturt recently indicated that following highly positive results from a recent well, Licence 67 could enter production. He also indicated that there may be potential for further development on this well in the short term.

A near-term sale has not been ruled out, but Mr Sturt said an asset sale in less than three years is highly likely.

Asset acquisition activity in the Russian exploration market has increased in the past 12 months.

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