Victoria Oil & Gas has provided an update on its operations in Africa and the Former Soviet Union.
Following completion of the acquisition of Bramlin in November 2008, VOG has appointed Radwan Hadi, Director of Blackwatch Petroleum Services Limited, as Chief Operating Officer of the Company and Project Manager of its Logbaba gas and condensate field. Radwan is a senior petroleum engineer and has over 25 years experience in the oil and gas industry, including substantial operational experience in West Africa. The acquisition also brings to VOG Jim Ford, Ernie Miller and the existing Cameroon based team of Bobby Hull and Georges Sztyk, who will ensure continuity and provide experienced commercial and technical guidance.
The design for the first well, a twin to Well LA104 drilled in the 1950s, is nearing completion. This well, to be drilled to a depth of 10,000 ft will evaluate 260 feet of log-indicated pay that was seen in the original LA104 well. The well objective is to produce first gas for delivery to the local industrial market before the end of 2009 and to confirm additional reserves to the 104 billion cubic feet of proved and probable reserves calculated by RPS Energy for the field in July 2008.
Negotiations are ongoing for the shipment of a 2,000 horse-power drilling rig to Douala from Algeria. The Company anticipates mobilization of the rig to site within three months and spudding in late H1 2009 and, accordingly, VOG has requested that a six month extension to the current exploration license, which is due to expire on 19 February 2009, be granted.
Further to its announcement on October 1, 2008, the Company has been notified that the Supreme Court of the Republic of Kazakhstan has declined to hear its appeal against the legal claim brought against VOG's Kazakh subsidiary, without explanation. VOG has formally appealed to the office of the Kazakhstan General Prosecutor, who has the power to refer cases back to the Supreme Court for reconsideration. A further update will be provided in due course.
Meanwhile, Olga Elefteriadi has been debarred from defending herself against any further actions brought by VOG against her in the High Court of Justice in London. The Company is preparing its claim for damages against her to be presented to the Court with an application for appropriate enforcement proceedings.
West Medvezhye, Russia
VOG is pleased to announce that the preliminary IDPS passive seismic survey undertaken by GeoDynamics Research in late 2008 has been successful. Good data was acquired over the target location in the locality of Well 103 and the results are being processed.
When the results are finalized, the data will be correlated with existing information from 2D seismic and geochemical surveys to provide a complete interpretation of the Well 103 location.
Acquisition of Falcon Petroleum
VOG is also looking to increase its diversification into Africa with the acquisition of Falcon Petroleum Limited. The Company is currently awaiting the results of integrated studies on Falcon's blocks in the Blue Nile Basin of Ethiopia, which will assist in the positioning of planned subsurface surveys. An evaluation of passive seismic and analogous data over Block 17 in Mali is also ongoing.
Change of Corporate Broker
The Company also announces the appointment of Fox-Davies Capital Limited as corporate broker and the resignation of Jefferies International Limited.
Commenting on progress, Kevin Foo, Chairman of VOG said, "The Logbaba gas and condensate project is proving to be an excellent acquisition and our focus now is to get this field producing gas. To this end, our operating skills have been appreciably strengthened by the appointment of Radwan Hadi as Chief Operating Officer, ably assisted in the project by Jim Ford, Ernie Miller and other members of the Bramlin team in Cameroon. The downturn in oil and gas prices has created a very competitive environment for drill rigs and services and we intend to secure a rig this month. On West Medvezhye, the successful tests of the passive seismic process in a permafrost environment are most encouraging. In Kazakhstan we continue to defend our assets against illegal raiders and have sought the support of the General Prosecutor in the case."
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