Abramovich-owned Zoltav unveils drilling plans in Saratov
Thursday, Mar 22, 2018
London-listed Zoltav Resources is intending to spud an exploration well at its Bortovoy licence in the Saratov region later this year, following encouraging results from a seismic shoot.

The Russia-focused junior reported on March 14 that early interpretation of a 180-square km 3D seismic survey carried out at the block last year indicated that a prospective hydrocarbon deposit was larger than previously thought. The deposit lies in the Biiyski-Afoninski reservoir in the Middle Devonian horizon of the Mokrousovskoye field.

“Preliminary analysis from this phase of seismic is encouraging,” Zoltav CEO Eduard Sleyn said in a statement.

The company intends to shoot an additional 76 square km 3D seismic survey, and finishing interpreting its data in the third quarter of this year. It then aims to drill an exploration well targeting the Devonian layer of Mokrousovskoye in the fourth quarter.

“Zoltav believes there is potential to yield substantial additional reserves and production from the Devonian and Carbonian horizons which, if proven, would have a transformational impact on the size of the Bortovoy asset,” the company said.

Zoltav is 39.62% controlled by ARA Capital, an investment vehicle belonging to Arkadiy Abramovich, the son of Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich. It acquired the 3,215-square km Bortovoy licence area in 2014 through its US$180 million acquisition of Cyprus-registered Royal Atlantic Energy.

The block holds 21.2 bcm of natural gas and 3.8 million barrels of oil and condensate in proven and probable reserves, according to an independent appraisal carried out in 2014. It contains nine known oil and gas fields, although only two – Karpenskoye and Zhdanovskoye – have entered production, yielding an average of 1.2 mcm per day of gas and 368 bpd of liquids in the first half of 2017.

Gas is processed locally and dispatched to Russia’s distribution network via a 22-km pipeline, under a sales contract with Gazprom, while oil is sold through a tender process to various buyers.

Zoltav also controls two undeveloped licences spanning 695 square km of the Khanty-Mansiysk region of Western Siberia. The Koltogor and adjacent Koltogor-10 blocks contain 75.1 million barrels of liquids and 680 mcm of gas in proven and probable resources.

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