PetroNeft (AIM: PTR) an oil & gas exploration and production company, operating in the Tomsk Oblast, Russian Federation, and 50% owner and operator of Licences 61 and 67, is pleased to provide the initial thoughts from the new Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) David Sturt.
“I have now been in my new position as CEO for just over two weeks and thought it would be an appropriate time to update you on my initial thoughts.
Since commencing my executive role, I have spent time in Tomsk with our staff reviewing the organization and its assets. Although the Company is facing some challenges, I believe there is clearly very significant potential and value in the Company’s assets that we will seek to exploit. This potential has been demonstrated by our recent success at Licence 67, which will further increase our reserves. While past performance has been mixed, some significant operational lessons have been learnt and as we look to improve the Company’s performance we will be sure to integrate these into our operational plans.
Fortunately the management team is not new to me as I have spent the past three years as a non-executive director of the Company, developing familiarity with the business and assets. In addition, I have worked closely with our VP Business Development – Pavel Tetyakov for many years – initially with PetroKazakhstan where I had responsibility for driving forward an aggressive successful Exploration and Appraisal program and then later in building Exillon Energy from scratch to a full London Stock Exchange listing in 2009. In our Tomsk office we have already moved to strengthen our existing team, adding experienced personnel in the Technical and Financial disciplines to improve the Company’s performance whilst simultaneously ensuring a very tight control on costs.
During 2018 we engaged a financial advisor with the aim to test the market for both of our licences. This process is ongoing and I am very pleased with the level of interest and the calibre of companies that we are currently talking to. Over the past twelve months the asset acquisition market in Russia has seen increased activity, especially for the larger domestic companies. This gives us reason for optimism about a positive outcome.
Having spoken to investors in the past, one persistent theme that comes through is the desire for the company to communicate more proactively with its investors and the market, as the new CEO this is something that I am committed to achieving. You will see more developments in this regard in the coming weeks and months.
Finally, I would just like to thank Karl Johnson for stepping up to the position of interim CEO enabling a smooth transition.
I look forward to updating shareholders over the coming months on our strategic and operational plan.”