PetroNeft Discovers New Oil Field in Russia

PetroNeft, the owner and operator of Licenses 61 and 67, Tomsk Oblast, Russian Federation, announced its largest single discovery to date, a new oil field at Sibkrayevskaya in License 61.


  • Sibkrayevskaya No. 372 well makes significant oil discovery in main Upper Jurassic target
    • Approximately 12.6 meters of net oil pay in J1 interval - exceeding pre-drill estimates
    • Good reservoir properties indicated with oil saturation throughout
    • Open hole inflow test of 170 bopd (unstimulated)
    • Sixth oil field discovered in License 61
  • Development drilling at Lineynoye continues to push field boundary significantly further north and encounters materially thicker pay
    • An additional well is now planned to be drilled 500 meters beyond the most northerly well to date
  • Exploration to commence at License 67 with first well scheduled later this month
  • Russian Mineral Extraction Tax reduction law passed and comes into effect on January 1, 2012
    • Enhancing profit margin from qualifying fields

Sibkrayevskaya No. 372 well

The Sibkrayevskaya No. 372 well at the Sibkrayevskaya prospect located in the north east corner of License 61 was spudded on July 9, 2011. It was a follow up to well No. 370 which was drilled in 1972. A comprehensive re-interpretation of the vintage well logs and drilling data from the 370 well using digitalized logs and modern interpretation tools had identified potential "missed pay" in the Upper Jurassic J1 interval. In the new well, No. 372, the Upper Jurassic J1 oil reservoir horizon was intersected as expected at -2,350.5 meters true vertical depth. Preliminary evaluation of the logs indicates that the J1 interval consists of 12.6 meters of net pay with good reservoir properties and oil saturation throughout, exceeding pre-drill estimates. An open hole test was conducted over this interval and tested at a pro-rated inflow of 170 bopd unstimulated. Based on preliminary analysis, the oil is of good quality with an API gravity of 37 degrees, which is consistent with other fields in License 61.

Sibkrayevskaya is a very large structure which will require additional seismic and well delineation. The 372 well was drilled in a flank position on the structure and current mapping shows an area of over 50 square kilometers up dip from the oil-down-to level defined in the well. Current indications are that the ultimate recoverable reserves in the field could be significantly larger than the 44 million barrel pre-drill target defined by Ryder Scott for the prospect. The discovery also extends the area of known oil to the northeast corner of the license area and improves the prospectivity of other structures in this area.

This discovery well adds a sixth oil field to License 61 and proves the strategy of following up on re-interpreted well logs from old wells that show potential by-passed oil pay zones. It is hoped to further appraise the Sibkrayevskaya oil field with a seismic program and the drilling of at least one appraisal well in 2012.

License 61 Development program

Two further development wells have been drilled from Pad 2 at the Lineynoye oil field. Well 208 encountered 8.8 meters of net oil pay. Well 207, which was the northernmost well drilled to date encountered 17.8 meters of net oil pay. This well was drilled at a location that had originally been interpreted to be outside the boundaries of the oil field and the result further proves that the Lineynoye field extends much further north than previously estimated. An additional well will now be added to this year's program at Pad 2 to drill the reservoir approximately 500 meters further north of the 207 location.

The results of well 207 and other recent Pad 2 wells have shown that the northern part of the Lineynoye field has materially thicker pay and extends significantly further north than originally anticipated. This has positive implications for reserves and productivity in this region of the field and for the likelihood of several new structures north of Lineynoye/West Lineynoye to be oil bearing.

License 67 Exploration program

Exploration on License 67 is due to commence shortly. The mobilization of the drilling rig to the Cheremshanskaya site has been completed and rig-up operations are underway. It is expected that the well will be spudded later this month. The well is targeting objectives at the Upper, Middle and Lower Jurassic horizons following up on previously drilled wells. The well will take up to two months to complete drilling and testing.

Mineral Extraction Tax (MET) reduction law for small fields

The MET reduction law for small fields was signed into law by President Medvedev on July 21, 2011. The law will become effective from January 1, 2012. The law is applicable to undeveloped fields with Russian C1+C2 recoverable reserves below 5 million tonnes (approximately 37.5 mmbbls). The law applies a sliding scale of discounts depending on the initial size of the field. The Arbuzovskoye field which is the focus of our development activities for next year has Russian registered C1+C2 recoverable reserves of 1.3 million tonnes and consequently it will qualify for a 46% MET discount. This will significantly enhance the profitability and cashflows of the Arbuzovskoye and other qualifying oil fields and accelerate the development of such fields in the License area.

Dennis Francis, Chief Executive Officer of PetroNeft Resources plc commented, "We are delighted with the discovery at Sibkrayevskaya, a significant new oil field which is our largest single discovery to date in terms of reserves. This is an especially important discovery, because it proves our strategy of following up on previously drilled structures by re-interpreting old well data using modern software and techniques to identify by-passed pay. The two well exploration program now commencing at License 67 is also based on re-interpreted data from old wells. We look forward to updating shareholders on the results of these wells later in the year. "