Russia-focused Matra Petroleum plans to take on new staff after raising $7.3 million (GBP 4.6 million) from a strategic investors, the firm announced Wednesday.
Matra, whose assets include the onshore Sokolovskoe oilfield in the Orenburg Oblast of the Russian Federation, said that it had agreed to allow former TNK-BP deputy CEO Maxim Barskiy to become a strategic investor. In return for the $7.3 million, Barskiy will acquire 575 million shares in the business – giving him a 29.8-percent holding.
Matra, whose shares are traded on London's Alternative Investment Market, said the introduction of Barskiy as both a strategic investor and non-executive investor in the company is expected to bring "considerable new project acquisition opportunities" to Matra.
Net proceeds from the fundraising will be used to advance Matra's existing operations at Sokolovskoe, said the firm, as well as to enable a more progressive new ventures strategy. Matra also said that it would take on new staff.
"Following the strategic investment by Mr Barskiy announced today, we plan to strengthen our technical and new ventures teams in both the UK and Russia," said Matra Managing Director Peter Hind, who added that Matra's board had decided to defer the drilling of well A-14 on Sokolovskoe until the expanded team was in place.
Hind continued: "We expect Mr. Barskiy will play an active role in Matra as a Non-Executive Director given his considerable expertise and resources that we envisage will further strengthen Matra's existing management and operational team. The board envisages that the company's growth plans may include other parts of Russia in the short term and potential expansion internationally in the medium term."
Matra's operations are located near the city of Orenburg, which is some 800 miles southeast of Moscow. The firm owns 100-percent of the Arkhangelovskoe production license, where its first exploration well A-12 in 2007 discovered the Sokolovskoe oil field. P50 recoverable contingent resources here have been independently estimated at 15.1 million barrels.
The license is within the oil-rich Volga-Urals basin and lies adjacent to existing oil fields and is close to the super-giant Orenburg gas field.
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