Urals Energy PCL (AIM:UEN), the independent exploration and production company with operations in Russia, is pleased to announce the acquisition of the entire issued share capital of two private Russian companies, RK-Oil Limited ("RK") and BVN Oil Limited ("BVN"), from Mr Ilya Glebov. These companies were formed in 2014 in order to participate in public auctions for oil exploration and production licenses in Russia's Komi region. Following these auctions both RK and BVN hold licenses in the Komi region.
Andrew Shrager, Chairman commented: "The Board is delighted with the acquisition of both RK and BVN. These acquisitions fit into our strategy of acquiring licenses for exploration selectively at times of low oil prices and undertaking initial exploration, but waiting until conditions improve before further developing such assets. They will add to the Company's potential pipeline through the ability to develop a further total area of over 947 sq km in the Komi region, an area where the Urals Energy team have considerable expertise. These are the first steps in rebuilding the asset base of Urals Energy."
BVN holds an exploration license for the Babayevsky area which is valid until 2018. The license covers a total area of 502 sq km and is located 12 km from the nearest oil terminal. One exploratory well was drilled in 2015, leading to a commercial discovery with a tested flow rate of 60 barrels of oil per day over a period of 18 hours from within deposits of the Devonian period. The license presently has indicated oil reserves of 2.02 million tons C1 and C2 (equivalent to 14.9 million barrels) and possible recoverable resources (D1) of 1.256 million tonnes, (equivalent to 9.29 million barrels), both of which have been approved by the State Reserves Committee. The formal procedures for the execution of the Protocol of the State Reserves Committee to effect the transfers of the license are currently under way. Over the coming months, the Company will undertake further studies and prepare a development plan as part of its application for a 25 year development license. Apart from the exploration license BVN holds no other assets.
RK holds an exploration and production license for the Ordymsky area, which is valid until 2040. The license covers a total area of 445 sq km, and is located 7 km from the nearest oil terminal. The license was held by LUKOil from 1995 until it was relinquished in 2000. LUKOil drilled one exploratory well which flowed, but no further studies were undertaken. RK has State registered possible recoverable resources (D1) of 3.385 million tonnes (equivalent to 25.05 million barrels). Apart from the exploration and production license RK holds no other assets.
These reserves and resource figures stated above have not been reviewed in accordance with the AIM Guidance Note for Mining, Oil and Gas Companies and the Company plans to get a review of these new licenses undertaken, in addition to the recent extension of the license area at Arcticneft and the Company's other assets, in accordance with an appropriate Standard in an updated Competent Person's report to be undertaken next year.
Dr Svyatoslav Bilibin, (Dr.Sci.Tech. and Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences), an independent adviser to Urals Energy, who meets the criteria of a qualified person under the AIM Guidance Note for Mining, Oil and Gas Companies, has reviewed and approved the technical information contained within this announcement.
The two license areas are some 100 km apart, so will be managed together. The Board believes that it will be possible for facilities to be shared, once a full development plan is undertaken.
The total consideration for the acquisitions is US$ 5.275 million, of which US$ 2.7 million is to be settled in cash and US$ 2.525 million is to be satisfied by the assumption of debt and other liabilities. The acquisitions are being funded out of Urals Energy's cash resources and the new working capital facility from Sberbank, details of which were announced on 30 June 2015.
In the case of BVN, there is a debt of Russian Rubles 19 million (approximately US$ 290,000) owed to Komineftegeofizika ("KNGF"). This is to be offset against the money owed to Urals Energy by KNGF as a result of the arbitration from last year. KNGF has paid a balancing amount to Urals Energy in cash and has therefore now fulfilled its obligations to Urals Energy in full.
Neither RK nor BVN have traded and as a result have generated no revenues. The unaudited net losses of both companies for the period from 1 January 2015 to 15 November 2015 totalled approximately US$ 23,500. The unaudited net assets of both companies as at 15 November 2015 were approximately US$ 287,000. The estimated actual expenditures to date by RK and BVN on acquiring the licenses, undertaking studies and drilling the well have totalled US$ 3.2 million.
These acquisitions bring Urals Energy back to the Komi region where its team has considerable experience. Urals Energy has been providing geological assistance to RK and BVN over the last year, thus giving the Urals Energy Board the confidence to make these acquisitions.
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