Petroneft Resources strikes oil at first Russian test well

PETRONEFT Resources has successfully tested for oil at the first well of its high-impact exploration programme scheduled for this year.

The Dublin-headquartered oil and gas exploration company, which is solely focused on the Tomsk region of Russia, is due to invest €36 million on fresh drilling and increasing capacity this year. The first well in its latest drilling campaign — the Kondrashevskoye 2 delineation well in the company’s Licence 61 asset — has confirmed 2.3 metres of net pay (the measurement of the thickness of the oil reservoir).

The second exploration well for this year will be at Sibkrayevskaya — the largest prospect in the programme at over 40 million barrels.

However, while Petroneft’s management expressed its delight with the findings, the company’s latest operational update also suggested current production levels are still lagging expectations. Current total production levels are 2,500 barrels of oil per day (bopd), lower than the company’s guidance of 3,000 bopd.

“On balance, positive news on the exploration and development fronts is likely to be counteracted by uncertainty over current production,” said Gerry Hennigan of Goodbody Stockbrokers.

Elsewhere in the Irish energy arena, OpenHydro — the Dublin technology firm which designs and manufactures turbines used for tidal energy generation — has announced the creation of up to 20 engineering-related jobs at its technical centre in Greenore, Co Louth.

Back in the exploration sphere, Irish registered company Aminex has announced plans to drill a further exploration well in the Ruvuma Basin area of Tanzania, where the firm is partnered by Solo Oil and Tullow Oil.

For its part, Tullow issued its own operational update on Monday, which showed its Banda prospect off the coast of Ghana is unlikely to prove commercial. Later drilling updates on its South American prospects — particularly in French Guiana and next year in Kenya — are likely more significant for Tullow, as they contain the prospect of opening up entirely new areas for the company.

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