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Romanian Petrom to invest €150 mln in Kazakhstan

Petrom continues to develop new exploration and production perimeters through a new acquisition in Russia, as well as through investments of some $190 million in a deposit in Kazakhstan, so as to reach global production of 70,000 barrels per day.

"In March, we were also granted exploration rights for another perimeter in Russia through the firm we took over last year, Ring Oil. We're permanently participating in tenders for Russian perimeters. The segment we're positioned on is competition with small independent players. Our attention is focused on acquisitions on the production (segment)," says Werner Ladwein, a member of Petrom executive board, in charge with exploration and production activities. Last year, Petrom announced it acquired a 74.9% majority stake Ring Oil Holding & Trading of Cyprus, whose shareholders were from Russia and other countries. Ring Oil held 100% in six Russian firms, all with a portfolio of exploration perimeters in that country. The acquisition included 8 exploration licenses and an exploration and production license, and its value remained confidential. The production target in Russia is of 30,000 barrels per day. "That we have a target of 70,000 barrels per day by 2009 points to fact that we need further acquisitions, either of companies or perimeters," says Petrom representative.

Petrom's second foreign exploration area is Kazakhstan, where the company is present in four regions with its affiliates. "We will invest around $190 million (€152 million) to develop the Komsomolskoe deposit of Kazakhstan. The development is due to be finalized in 2008 and it will generate a production level of 10,000 barrels per day in the following years," says Ladwein. The volume of investments to be made in the region largely depends on what resources the company discovers there. The production target set for Kazakhstan is of 30,000 barrels per day. Last year, the representatives of OMV, the majority shareholder in Petrom, stated they were in talks to take over exploration rights for some important perimeters of Bulgaria and Ukraine, with the rights to be transferred to Petrom. The Austrian group puts deals at several million euros. The deal in Bulgaria will most likely be finalized by yearend, Kazinform cites Ziarul Financiar, Romania. (