Sale of Irish oil firm PetroNeft's Russian assets 'taking time'

Irish exploration company PetroNeft Resources has said it is taking time to sell its Russian-based assets, but that it is happy with the level of interest shown by potential buyers.

Sale of Irish oil firm PetroNeft's Russian assets 'taking time'

Irish exploration company PetroNeft Resources has said it is taking time to sell its Russian-based assets, but that it is happy with the level of interest shown by potential buyers.

The company owns a 50% stake in two licences in the Siberian region of Tomsk. It is currently engaged in a low-cost programme of improving production and reserves at the two licences while testing market sentiment towards a sale of its stakes.

"These approaches are mutually supportive, as improvement in production and/or reserves is likely to increase attractiveness and interest in our assets in any sale process," said PetroNeft chairman David Golder.

The 'for sale' sign has been on PetroNeft's assets since last year.

"Whilst we remain encouraged by the interest we are seeing, we recognise that the process is taking time," said Mr Golder.

Earlier this year, chief executive David Sturt suggested that the company would likely be sold within the next two or three years.

PetroNeft said total losses for the first half of this year amounted to $2m (€1.8m), a near doubling from the halfway point of last year.

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